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M.A. Oxon. 


T« (pvast irpirepov rh ii\ov rw fi4peos 

— Archytas 






h /*. . 



The purpose and method of this volume, as an 
introduction to historical study, are explained 
sufficiently in the First Part ; let this preface 
rather serve me to make profession of following 
as my guide and teacher the Great Master of the 
nineteenth century, John Henry Newman ; who, 
looking before and after, foresaw the intellectual 
problems of the future, and whose work, though 
part was concerned with the transient contro- 
versies and peculiar opinions of his own time, 
was mainly concerned with the lasting needs and 
chronic infirmities of our nature — Newman, who 
by some even now is not yet understood, and for 
many years in time past was covered by a cloud 
of misunderstanding, the inevitable penalty of in- 
tellectual pre-eminence. 

To be linked even in some slight way to so 
great a name is not an unworthy ambition ; or to 
join, however imperfectly, in the task of sifting 
and sorting his work ; leaving aside those portions 


that the fashions of controversy or the progress of 
historical study have rendered obsolete ; making 
more accessible those portions that are for all 
time ; and in this particular volume giving to the 
logic and history of Newman an economic or 
sociological setting. 

It may be taken for granted that like any others 
in England who would aim at fruitful Apologetics, 
I owe much to the writings of Father George 
Tyrrell and Mr. Wilfrid Ward, and have attempted 
to utilise the stores of permanent apologetic value 
to be found scattered in the works of Faber. The 
names also of two economists, Professor W. J. 
Ashley and Dr. William Cunningham, ought here 
to find a place, because they have taught the 
present generation the great lesson that economic 
science without history is idle, indeed almost 

It only remains for me to thank those who have 
given me their personal help in this work, and to 
join their names, among my roll of benefactors, to 
all who in my own time have laboured on the 
walls of Sion, and in an age of grievous discord 
have been set for my guidance and consolation. 

November, 1905. 




i. Efforts to reach a philosophy of history i 

2. Need of a principle of selection ...... 4 

3. Meanings of civilisation, culture and progress .... 7 

4. Difficulties in the comparison of times and places ... 13 

5. Schedule for making a specific comparison .... 16 

6. Balance of loss and gain ..... ... 18 

7. Apparent paradox on progress 21 

8. The manifold facts of retrogression ...... 26 

9. Pantheism, Materialism and Theism as solutions of the world 

problem 30 

10. Difficulties of Theism 34 

11. Christianity's claim to solve the difficulties of Theism . . 38 

12. Distinction of Fore-Christians, Jews, Christians and After- 

Christians 42 

13. The After-Christian Moslems 44 

14. The After-Christians of France 51 

15. Other examples 55 

16. The Fore-Christians 58 

17. Claim of the Catholic Church to solve the difficulties of 

Christianity 62 

18. Analogous difficulties in non-theological matters ... 66 

19. Intellectual and moral reasons for the obscurity of God . . 68 

20. Application of this obscurity to the Church .... 72 






2i. Ten antinomies of the Christian Church . .... 75 


22. Ground of the reproaches of ignorance and illiteracy . . 77 

23. The foundations of sestheticism 82 

24. The Church and all forms of art 86 

25. Philosophic culture and the Church 8g 

26. Her golden mean in philosophy 93 

27. Her inevitable conflict with each time-spirit . . 95 


28. Seeming opposition to material civilisation . . g8 

29. Yet its support — by checking reckless greed .... 101 

30. By asserting the dignity of duty and labour .... 103 

31. By upholding family life 107 


32. The preaching of abjection and asceticism . . 

33. Hostility of the world and its doctrine of pleasure . 

34. This pleasure not for the masses, but for the few only 

35. Disillusion even for these 

36. Joyfulness of Christianity , , , , , 







37. Nationalism ever a trouble to Christianity 

38. But regulated not ignored by the Church 

39. Church autonomy opposed to the State . 

40. Yet the Church the prop of the State 

41. Making obedience and government easy . 



42. Meaning of diversity of wealth and service 

43. Recognition of slavery by Christian Church 

44. Yet the Church the very soul of emancipation 

45. Modern labour problems and socialism . 

46. Justice but not equality upheld . , 

47. Social reform combined with moral 


1 46 



48. Fact of scandals 161 

49. Extreme parties 163 

50. Scandals foretold and explained ...... 167 

51. The ordinary and the heroic observance of the Christian law . 172 

52. Examples of Christian family life 173 

53. The saints and their importance ...... 178 

54. Historical examples . , 181 

55. The consensus of experts 186 





56. The meaning and supremacy of conscience .... 189 

57. The meaning of freedom and its harmony with law . . . 191 

58. Popular character of ecclesiastical intervention . . . 196 

59. Historical on religious intolerance ...... 199 

60. The " modern " presumption and its distortion of history . . 202 

61. Weakness of the theory of toleration ..... 207 

62. Change of circumstances but not of principles for the Church . 210 


63. Horror of disunion in the Early Church ..... 215 

64. Facts of heresy and schism 218 

65. Origins and pathology ........ 221 

66. Via media in caricature ...... . . 226 

67. Invisible membership of the Church, and Christian family life 

of dissidents 229 

68. Providential functions of heresy and schism .... 232 



6g. Uprising of the historical spirit 

70. Growth of the theory of development 

71. Explanation of the theory of development 

72. Changes in discipline and devotion . 

73. Caricatures of development . , , 

74. Importance of the theory . , . 





75. Apparent failure of the Church 254 

76. Historical examples 256 

77. Calamities the prelude to victory 261 

78. Perennial calumny ......... 263 

7g. The witness of the children ....... 266 

80. The need of an explanation 269 


81. Denial of the possibility of the miraculous .... 272 

82. Denial of the fact of the miraculous 275 

83. Catholic doctrine of the supernatural taken as an hypothesis . 278 

84. Found alone to explain all the observed facts (as magic and 

possession) 282 

85. Character of Catholic miracles 285 

86. Specific examples of miracles ...,,.. 289 

87. The miraculous in its fitting place 296 


88. Lux inter umbras et imagines ....... 301 

Index 307 



Section I. 

Many writers have sought in recent years and 
many still seek a meaning in man's history, an 
explanation of the course of society, a forecast of its 
future. Such names as the growth of civilisation, 
the philosophy of history, the science of sociology, 
social dynamics or social evolution are some of those 
chosen to express a science, as yet desired rather 
than attained, which is to solve the riddle of the 
universe. The keenness of the desire is shown by 
the eager welcome of one theory of evolution after 
another, though as yet their apparent deficiency is 
their common failure to agree with the detailed 
facts of history. 1 All the while the need of a valid 

1 For example, how reconcile Hegel's philosophy of history with 
the case of Chinese civilisation ; Comte's three stages with Indian 
history; Buckle's theory of the subordination of man to his physi- 
cal surroundings with Egyptian history or with a comparative view 
of Greek and Phoenician colonisation; how reconcile the Dar- 



theory grows daily greater. The very progress 
in historical research during the last twenty-five 
years has rendered specialisation a necessity both 
for teachers and students ; only a few years with- 
in a restricted area can be effectively portrayed 
by any one man ; and without some general theory 
to be our guiding star, we must lose our way and 
cannot reach a fit estimate even of the narrow time 
and place which are the special object of our study. 
We must have first a framework into which our 
portion may be fitted, a totality of which it may be 
reckoned a part. 

But who will provide a guiding principle in 
harmony with history and statistics? Who can 
find order among materials so complicated and 
obscure ? Who can hope to succeed where so 
many have failed, and to be borne safely through 
this rugged pass already white with the bones of 
a thousand dead theories ? If we read Dr. Flint's 
History of the Philosophy of History, , l we may 

winian theory of Marx and his followers on the economic inter- 
pretation of history, even in the cautious re-statement by Prof. 
Seligman, with the wide-spread phenomenon of decay and de- 
generation ; how reconcile Mr. Kidd's brilliant theories with the 
details of the Greek Orphic religion, or with the social history of 
Rome, or with recent statistics of population ? 

1 This work, published in Edinburgh in 1893, is practically the 
second edition of his Philosophy of History in Europe, published in 
1874 ; but the earlier volume must still be consulted for the 
author's account of German theories from Leibnitz and Lessing 


well be startled at the inefficiency of theory after 
theory displayed in that gallery of ghosts ; and 
fresh years have added to the fruitless theories. 
Yet in spite of these examples, and the warnings 
of the late Dr. Henry Sidgwick, 1 and the despair 
of Prof. Graham, 2 the author has this of encourage- 
ment, that when all is ready it needs but a poor 
instrument to give the last feeble stroke ; that the 
latest comer has by his very late coming an ad- 
vantage ; that the recent progress of science, 

to Lotze and Hermann. Some additional criticisms are given by 
Dr. Flint in his History of Classifications of the Sciences, 1904. 

1 Some attempts at sociology, weighed in his delicate balance 
and found wanting, are described in his presidential address of 
1885 to the British Association, and in The National Review of 
1894, both reprinted as Papers vii. and ix. in the posthumous 
volume, Essays and Addresses, 1904. He deals with the sociological 
theories of Comte, Herbert Spencer, Schaffie, Pearson and Mr. 
Kidd, notes the lack of continuity of teaching, of consensus of 
experts, and of effectual prevision in the attempted science ; and 
shows how each writer has started de novo, built his own founda- 
tions, and displayed in relation to the others a portentous dis- 
agreement. In the latest address (1899), reprinted in this 
collection as Paper xi., Sidgwick seems more ready to allow the 
existence of sociology, having before him the facts that professorial 
chairs of sociology can be found in America as well as sociological 
handbooks for students ; still he brings no fresh evidence to alter 
his previous and reasoned conclusion that such a science was not 
yet constructed, only adumbrated. We may be confirmed in this 
caution by the singular variety and obscurity of opinion among 
the Sociological Papers recently published for the Sociological 
Society (Macmillan & Co., 1905). 

2 English Political Philosophy from Hobbes to Maine, London, 1899, 
p. 302, where he abandons in despair all attempts at a sociology. 


physical and historical, has redoubled this ad- 
vantage ; that he is not constructing a sociology 
or science of history but offering a key to unlock 
the materials of construction. 

Section II. 

Perhaps, indeed, it may be asked what is the 
need after all of any historical theory? Cannot 
we suffer historians without prejudgment to pursue 
their narrative in peace, and the facts to speak for 
themselves? But facts themselves are dumb, and 
a historian is no purveyor of an indiscriminate 
collection of facts, is no unscientific chronicler, 
but precisely one whose narrative is the fruit of a 
process of reasoning. For out of the vast mass of 
recorded facts, a confused and unintelligible heap, 
he must select what is pertinent, relevant, im- 
portant, characteristic. Even as a skilled lawyer 
extracts from a mass of evidence what is pertinent 
to the question at issue, so the historian must pass 
his materials through a series of sieves of increas- 
ing fineness before they are ready for history ; he 
must know what special facts are to be searched 
for, must grasp what is worth remembering, dis- 
cern amid a crowd of trifles the leading features 
of the society of which he writes, show order and 
drift amid the maze of facts, and among those that 


deserve any mention determine their proper place 
and relative importance. 

But to do this he must have something previous 
to his observation ; some previously established 
general propositions, some theoretical anticipa- 
tions, some criterion to judge what is relevant 
or irrelevant, what is characteristic or merely ex- 
ceptional, what is of vital or little importance ; and 
any simple inductive process is triply confused in 
the case of historical science by the multiplicity 
of causes, by their complicated interaction, by the 
frequent loss certain or suspected of many pertinent 
facts that have dropped from the historical record. 1 
And the example of serious historians shows that 
it is no mere accumulation of facts taken at ran- 
dom, nor a blind induction which guides them 
and leads them to such contradictory results, but 
rather for each historian his own implicit or explicit 
assumptions, tacit understandings, an impalpable 
notion of reasonableness, critical feeling, personal 
conceptions and historical tact, that determine his 
choice of facts and the issue of his argument. 

1 Among English writers Cornewall Lewis, Walter Bagehot, 
Herbert Spencer (in his Study of Sociology), and above all Mr. 
Keynes (Scope and Method of Political Economy, chap. vi. and note 
B to chap, ix.) and Cardinal Newman (Grammar of Assent, chap, ix., 
§ 3, and Idea of a University, especially Discourses iv. and vi.) have 
thrown light on this — the historical — department of logic. 


A theory therefore is needed beforehand : no 
gazing at facts will itself provide one. Before we 
enter the labyrinth we must have a clue, and a 
lamp before we enter the forest of obscurity. 
Antecedent to any history we need a philosophy 
of history for the selection, the adjustment, the ap- 
preciation, the limitation of the manifold material. 
Unity is before and above all number ; the whole 
must precede the parts ; and " in order to have 
possession of truth at all we must have the whole 
truth," and if we have not a true view we must 
make for ourselves a false one, as every day can 
be seen in the extravagances of undisciplined talent 
and the narrowness of complacent ignorance. As 
of knowledge in general, so of historical knowledge 
in particular, there must be some architectonic 
science that is the arbiter of the claims and place 
of the manifold specialists. If history is not to be 
aimless and unprofitable, we must in some way 
map out the Universe, know the relative disposi- 
tion of things, and see in history a various and 
complicated drama with interacting parts and a 
grand significance. "You must be above your 
knowledge, not under it, or it will oppress you ; 
and the more you have of it the greater will be 
the load." Moreover, to history as to all know- 
ledge applies the principle that nearly every 


statement may be in a sense true and yet may be 
perverted and made false because it is not the 
whole truth ; and that what is true under one 
aspect only, is therefore altogether insufficient. 
The political exhortation to think imperially can 
be transferred with greater precision and certainty 
to the scientific field. A high protecting power, 
a sovereign science maps out the territory of each 
subordinate science, " acts as umpire between 
truth and truth, and assigns to all their due order 
of precedence ". If, then, we are not to confess our 
failure and idly acquiesce in a barren scepticism, 
we need an imperial theory of history that shall 
serve as a fruitful hypothesis, and that the 
severest test of ascertained fact shall not be able 
to dissolve. 

Section III. 

To make our search easier we must determine, 
at least for these pages, the meaning of the words 
progress, civilisation, and culture, that are in all 
mens' mouths and block the way with their 

Civilisation is most conveniently described as 
the condition of a large group of men displaying 
the following seven characteristics : — 

First, the possession of a city worthy of the 
name ; not the extended villages of the Germans 


described by Tacitus or of the Gauls till a short 
time before the Roman Conquest. Secondly, 
some degree of political order and power ; not a 
clan system like that of the Scotch Highlanders 
described in Waverley and Rob Roy. Thirdly, 
some proficiency in the industrial arts, in agri- 
culture, manufactures, mining, building, and trans- 
port ; not the rude agriculture of the Kaffirs in 
Mashonaland, the negroes in Nigeria or the 
aboriginal tribes in the forests of Central India. 
Fourthly, some proficiency in the fine arts, in 
architecture, sculpture, painting and music ; not 
the simple decorations of the royal palaces in 
Dahomey or Ashanti or the Celtic ornamentation 
in pre- Roman Britain. Fifthly, some knowledge 
of philosophy, history and physical science, above 
the standard of the peasant commonwealth of the 
fifteenth century Swiss. Sixthly, a written litera- 
ture ; not the unwritten songs of the heroic age 
of poetry, such as the old Greek or Norse or 
Celtic epics. Seventhly, a small portion of the 
people differentiated as an upper class with con- 
siderable wealth and leisure ; not the simple equality 
of Red Indian tribes, or the scanty difference of 
social position among pastoral peoples without 
settled abodes or accumulation of wealth. 

Most of these characteristics of civilisation allow 


of variation ; and one country may be more civilised 
than another, because either its cities are more 
numerous or its means of communication and pro- 
duction more effective, or its art and literature 
more splendid, or its science more profound. 

Again, these characteristics are clearly divisible 
into material and intellectual ; the special word 
culture, though sometimes used for civilisation in 
general, is oftener used for intellectual as distinct 
from material civilisation, and is confined to pro- 
ficiency in the fine arts, in literature, in historical 
and physical science. 

Hence in examining two societies, if the first is 
more wealthy and orderly than the second, with 
more cities and better communications, it is the 
more civilised of the two materially. If the 
second can show better works of art, literature, 
music, pure science and learning, it is the more 
civilised of the two intellectually or more cultured. 
But neither society can be set down absolutely as 
more civilised than the other or less civilised. 
Each excels in certain characteristics of civilisa- 
tion, and is deficient in others. 

And civilisation, if we take this view of it, is 
not to be measured by religion, morality or 
general happiness. No doubt the word can be 
stretched so as to include them ; but becomes 


valueless by the inclusion, and we should be in- 
volved in the fruitless paradox that the Romans 
in the height of their civilisation were in some 
most important aspects less civilised than the 
illiterate barbarians of the North. Whereas the 
fruitful comparison is rather that of the ideals and 
religion among barbarians, such as the Scythians 
of the time of Darius or the Norsemen of the 
tenth century, with the ideals and religion among 
civilised nations, such as the Carthaginians in the 
fourth century before Christ, or the Saracens of 
the Bagdad Caliphate in the height of their culture 
some twelve hundred years later. In like manner 
it is fruitful to compare the respective vices and 
virtues, the respective distress and contentment of 
civilised and uncivilised societies, rather than to 
place virtue and contentment among the charac- 
teristics of civilisation, and by this ill use of words 
to throw history into confusion. It is well then 
to follow St. Augustine, who was an observant 
witness of the society around him, and marked off 
precisely its elaborate civilisation from its moral 
conditions. He distinguishes seven grades of the 
human soul, the first of which (animatio) we share 
with plants, the second (sensus) with animals, but 
the third (ars or civilisation) is man's own. 
Then, after describing in glowing colours the 


political and social structure of the Roman Em- 
pire, the orderly government, the agricultural and 
industrial arts, the fine arts and architecture, the 
libraries and schools, the wonders of music, of 
literature, of the mathematical and historical 
sciences, he marks how all this magnificent abund- 
ance is the common possession of the souls that 
are good and of the souls that are evil. 1 And he 
tells us in a later work how all the wonderful in- 
ventions of which the world is full, and whereby 
this mortal life is adorned, are the work of the 
human mind, not the work of grace or the way 
whereby immortal life is reached. 2 Nor is it 
without significance that of the seven steps upward 
attainable by man, civilisation is only the third, 
and four remain above it, so much greater and 
higher than the sphere of the physical and intel- 
lectual is the sphere of the moral and the spiritual. 
The word progress, no less than civilisation, 
requires to be used with precision, and precisely 
in these pages is used to express an increase in 
the quantity or quality of some good." Obviously 

1 De quantitate animae, cap. xxxiii., sect, lxxii., Migne, i., 1074. 

2 De civitate Dei, 1. 22, cap. xxiv. 

3 It seems best to avoid the negative use of the term seen in 
such phrases as the progress of disease, of destruction, or of 
wickedness. Rather these are cases of retrogression in health 
in wealth, in virtue. 


the narrower the good the greater the precision ; 
to speak, for example, of the progress in the 
science of geology among specialists during the 
last twenty-five years rather than of the pro- 
gress of the knowledge of geology among the 
English people ; or to speak of the progress of 
Danish agriculture during this period rather than 
of the progress of European agriculture. Hence 
although we can apply the word progress to civil- 
isation as a whole, we can seldom say more than 
what is vague or uncertain. If we distinguish 
material from intellectual civilisation we can make 
our statements more precise ; for example, that the 
Roman Empire of the second century after Christ 
showed in material civilisation a great advance 
over the first century before Christ, but in intel- 
lectual civilisation a decline ; or that Spain in the 
first half of the seventeenth century compared to 
the second half of the fifteenth century displayed 
great progress intellectually (with her five stars in 
Cervantes, Lope de Vega, Velasquez, Murillo and 
Calderon), but retrogression materially. But if in 
either of these two instances we sought to deter- 
mine whether in civilisation as a whole there had 
been retrogression or progress, we should be met 
by the difficulty of having no common measure 
for comparing Roman roads with the poems of 


Virgil or for comparing a flourishing woollen 
manufacture with the pictures of Velasquez. 

Section IV. 

Even if we look only to the material civilisation 
of different times and places the difficulties of com- 
parison are very great. For though we seem to 
have in money a common measure and an easy 
means of expressing the sum of external and 
material goods, we find our measure continually 
failing us. First, the purchasing power of gold 
or silver is ever varying according to time and 
place, and though a diligent calculation can make 
allowance for these variations in the wholesale 
prices of free and open markets, 1 the difficulty of 
making any such allowance is increased a hundred- 
fold in the case of the vast majority of purchases, 
namely, the retail prices actually paid day after 
day and varying immensely according to the 
locality, the social standing, and the respective 
combination of buyers and sellers. Secondly, 
wherever a large proportion of material goods are 
never bought or sold, our money measure fails 
us ; for example, much of the produce of peasant 
cultivators for their own domestic consumption, 

1 Reckoning appreciation or depreciation of gold or of silver 
and expressing it by " index numbers ". 


the free waters of navigable rivers, the free fuel, 
building material and game in a land mostly 
covered with forest, and the abundance of open 
ground for pasture and recreation in a thinly 
peopled country. Thirdly, the variety of human 
necessities makes elusive a merely monetary 
measurement of material civilisation ; for a people 
cannot be called more civilised (materially) because 
a cold, damp climate requires costly provision of 
fuel and clothing, more elaborate houses, even 
more abundant food than in Sicily or Andalusia. 
Fourthly, no money measure will enable us to 
explain the paradox that the amount of wealth in 
a given country at a given time is no absolute 
quantity but depends considerably on the manner 
of its distribution among the inhabitants. For as 
the price of any object expresses its value, and its 
value depends largely on its utility, and its utility 
varies with the man who uses it, and even to him 
is not the same if he is already provided with the 
same sort in abundance ; it follows that we must 
first tell who has the use and enjoyment of a 
country's wealth, how it is shared among the 
inhabitants and used in each household, before 
we can reckon its amount. 1 

1 Some of these difficulties are well faced in Sidgwick's Political 
Economy, book L, chap, iii., and Fr. G. Tyrrell justly observes 


But difficulties are either an incentive to over- 
come them, or a sign that we have strayed from 
the high road and taken a by-path. And these 
difficulties in making a monetary and mathematical 
calculation of the conditions of societies, are meant 
to show that we gain little or nothing by isolating 
wealth from other features of society, our attempted 
precision being baffled on our finding that the 
very wealth of which we have taken stock is being 
hourly transmuted by intellectual and moral forces. 
Hence, while it is needful to distinguish material 
civilisation from intellectual, and both kinds of 
civilisation from the conditions of morality and 
religion, this is to clear our abstract thought, not 
to sunder what in the concrete is inseparable. It 
is the real state of different societies, physical, in- 
tellectual and moral, that we need to know, not 
vague generalities but a detailed specification, in 
the double form of the lower statistics that can be 
expressed in figures and the higher statistics that 
transcend numeration. 1 

how poverty to a great extent is relative, and therefore that the 
increase of a country's wealth will not lessen poverty, only alter 
the standard ; leaving the amount of discontent and suffering 
unchanged (Hard Sayings, p. 460). 

1 A presentation of these two kinds of statistics applied to different 
times and places, is the very foundation of history, and the trac- 
ing of causes the very essence of scientific history ; yet so hard 
to reach that Prof. Ashley has declared history (he means the 
science of social facts sometimes called sociology) to be the most 


Section V. 

As a rough provisional specification of the items 
of inquiry or schedule of social comparison, let us, 
having before us a particular area and particular 
time make our inquiry somewhat as follows : On 
the natural resources of the country, the climate, 
soil, rivers, mountains, and minerals, and the 
number and racial characteristics of the inhabit- 
ants ; then on how they are making use of their 
patrimony, their agriculture, manufactures, mines, 
fisheries, shipping and commerce and means of 
communication ; and how far in their use there 
has been waste, damage or destruction, in particular 
how far they have yielded to that peculiar form of 
human destructiveness, the wasting of the forests, 
whereby much of the globe in subtropical lati- 
tudes has been rendered a desert, and many of 
the fairest mountains and valleys irretrievably 
damaged. Again, we must assess the damage by 

difficult of sciences (Preface to the translation of Fustel de 
Coulanges, Origin of Property in Land.) This very difficulty 
removes another: how it is possible that such totally different 
pictures are presented to us of such countries and peoples open 
to our present observation, facts that seem to stare us in the face, 
such, e.g., as the moral, intellectual and material conditions of the 
Russians or the Boers or the Germans. Only experts can profit- 
ably examine into concrete facts (as Mr. Rowntree at York) ; to 
convert the concrete into the abstract and to grasp the true issue 
of the facts, requires a considerable outfit of logic and philosophy. 


the waste of sewage, by the pollution of the air 
with fumes and smoke, by the pollution of the 
rivers with all kinds of refuse, by the destruction 
of natural beauty. We must inquire also in each 
particular industry the character and surroundings 
of daily work, the organisation of industry, the 
leisure at the disposal of different classes. Then 
turning from the side of production to that of 
consumption we must take stock of the quantity 
and quality of the habitual food, clothing, dwell- 
ings, fuel and furniture of all classes of the people, 
the proportion of urban to rural population, the 
medical and surgical provision, the recreations of 
young and old, of high and low. We must further 
be told the conditions of ownership, the actual 
distribution of property, and the political organisa- 
tion, especially under the four heads of the security 
of life and property, of the certainty, speed and 
cheapness of legal procedure, of the weight of taxa- 
tion compared with taxable capacity, and fourthly 
of the vigour of efficiency of local government. 
Then we must scrutinise the conditions of culture 
whether confined to a few or spread among many, 
the provision of elementary, secondary and higher 
schools, and the fruits of such provision seen in 
the actual literature read, the music and fine art 
actually enjoyed, the habitual knowledge by the 


inhabitants of the history and natural history of 
their native land. Then, having examined the in- 
tellectual civilisation, we should pass on to the most 
difficult part, but also to the crown, of our inquiry, 
on which true happiness and popular welfare 
depend, namely, the moral and religious condition 
of the people, their views of life and death, the 
habitual relation of husband and wife, parent and 
child, brother and sister, the supreme statistics of 
the proportion of homes within whose walls we 
can find a sanctuary of innocence and peace. 1 

Section VI. 

With such a schedule of comparison in their 
hands, or rather with one more elaborate and 
precise, each item duly marked with number or 
letter, the students of history, if equipped with 
sound first principles and sober judgment, might 
hope to make many profitable comparisons. And 
one of the first lessons to learn would be the com- 
plication of their task, the perplexing balance 
of advantage and disadvantage between different 
countries, the perplexing balance of loss and gain 
between different periods, so that frequently they 
would have to be content with the honest if 

'Some of the foregoing is from the author's paper read in 
December, 1899, before the Manchester Statistical Society. 


modest conclusion that matters were in some 
aspects better and in others worse. Take, for 
example, the Egyptian statue of an officer of 
high rank about B.C. 1300, seated beside his wife 
or sister, to be seen in the Egyptian gallery of 
the British Museum ; inquire from Egyptologists 
the probable history of that man, his means of 
income, his house and garden, his family and 
servants, his education, the art and literature at 
his disposal, his knowledge and practice of the 
moral law and religious teaching ; compare him 
in all these matters with a Hindu gentleman of 
high birth and office at the court of some native 
state in the first half of the nineteenth century. 

Here would be comparison of different places 
at different times. 

Take again England (proper) and the Grand 
Duchy of Tuscany shortly before the middle of the 
nineteenth century : the industrial energy and 
commercial activity of the one state, the centre of 
a great empire and the world's commerce, vigorous 
in literature ; and compare this with the political 
feebleness, commercial insignificance, and literary 
ineptitude of Tuscany ; and also per contra how 
England's working population in field, mine, factory 
and ship (it was in the days before efficient Factory 
and Merchant Shipping Acts or efficient Trade 


Unions) were mostly sunk in material misery and 
often in moral degradation, whereas in Tuscany the 
mass of the people enjoyed material well-being and 
lived the idyllic life that any one can read in the 
famous chapter on metayers in Mill's Political 

Here would be a comparison of different places 
at the same time. 

Take again the district now called the county 
of London at the deaths of Edward I., George II., 
and Queen Victoria ; at the second time of ob- 
servation much greater than at the first in popula- 
tion, a far greater centre of commerce and industry ; 
in material welfare the food, clothing and housing 
of the mass of its inhabitants and bodily health 
probably much the same or perhaps better ; in 
beauty, though still a beautiful city in a beautiful 
framework, yet lacking the woods and hunting 
grounds of the earlier period ; sadly fallen more- 
over from the Gothic glories of the great Edward ; 
and fallen still lower in its morality, the processions 
of the multitudinous guilds, lay and religious, 
changed sadly into the scenes of street life depicted 
by Hogarth. Then the third point of observation 
shows a total contrast to the other two, the growth 
of numbers and wealth unparalleled and intoxicat- 
ing ; vigorous commerce and manufactures ; an 


awe-inspiring imperial centre of world dominion ; 
unparalleled improvement in public health ; but 
per contra the beauty gone, the buildings blackened, 
the sky daily clouded with a curtain of smoke, the 
rich and poor districts sharply divided, and an 
appalling aggregate of overcrowding and poverty 
such as can be studied in the sober pages of Mr. 
Charles Booth's Labour and Life in London. 

Here would be a comparison of the same place 
at different times. 

Section VII. 

In all these comparisons one thing is clear, the 
difficulty of making any accurate assessment of loss 
and gain ; and if any readers would object, that 
whatever may be the comparisons between the 
ages and the places of the past, surely none can 
deny the marvellous advance in modern times and 
the great deeds of the nineteenth century, I would 
refer him again to the unfailing schedule of com- 
parison and ask for particulars of place and time, 
and entreat him to be something better in his youth 
than a platform speaker on modern progress, to 
become by reaction in his old age a laudator 
temporis acti. 

If we keep to the material sphere only, we must 
indeed recognise to the full the wonderful increase 


of human power due to steam, electricity, me- 
chanical invention, chemical discoveries, medical 
science during the last 150 years, and the mar- 
vellous increase in the numbers of the human race. 

But, then, when all is said, the solid fact remains 
that those who enjoy a plenteous income are 
comparatively as few as before, and the mighty 
engines of advance seem to have laboured in vain. 

Among the reasons for this paradox we may 
here name the four that follow : — 

First, the very increase of numbers, without 
which the technical progress would have been 
impossible, is itself a cause which, if other things 
remained the same, would have made the con- 
ditions of life harder. But then precisely the very 
meaning of technical progress is that other things 
do not remain the same ; and a general equilibrium 
is reached by these forces of population and pro- 
gress acting on and neutralising each other. 

Secondly, improved production is often accom- 
panied by a reckless waste of material resources, 
such as injury to the soil by exhaustive agriculture, 
destruction of forests (for example, to supply 
railway sleepers in the United States and British 
India), exhaustion of coal and minerals, extermina- 
tion of useful animals (for example bisons and seals), 
destruction of river fish by the pollution of waters, 


Thirdly, in place of former articles of general con- 
sumption the frequent introduction of new articles 
apparently cheap but in reality dear — inferior cloth- 
ing, inferior furniture, inferior food and drink, 
produced no longer at home or locally and adapted 
to local consumption, but produced wholesale in 
concentrated factories and tending to perpetuate 
the mischief by damaging the capacities, because 
lessening the sphere, of the ancient housewife. 

Fourthly, the very technical triumphs of the 
nineteenth century have made the means of com- 
munication cheap and easy, and have thereby 
removed the old difficulty of feeding large cities, 
but at the same time have thereby removed 
the main counterpoise to the attractive forces 
of town industry and town life ; the very in- 
ventions thus becoming the prime occasion of 
one of the chief troubles of our times known 
as urban congestion. Low quarters and over- 
crowding and low life in great cities are indeed 
ancient evils ; what is new is not so much the 
quality as the quantity of the mischief, the 
enormous proportion of national life now absorbed 
in town life, the extent rather than the acuteness 
of the "house famine," the tens of millions to 
whom the payment of " the rent " is the absorbing 
preoccupation, and for whom the manifold gifts 


of the good fairy Progress have been turned to 
ashes by the malign breath of her twin sister 
Urban Congestion. 

Loss and gain are thus intermingled and en- 
tangled ; it needs a skilful hand to disentangle 
them. The figures are in ever varying confusion 
and it needs more than a common actuary to 
frame a true balance sheet. Even if we use the 
mere calculus of pleasure and pain, it may be 
questioned whether in the passage from a rude 
to a civilised life, and from lesser to greater civil- 
isation, the new joys brought to most men are 
not more than cancelled by the attendant sorrows. 1 
And if we use an intellectual calculus we have to 
face the fact that progress among the few may be 
balanced by retrogression among the many. So 
in Greece the heroic age, with comparative intel- 
lectual equality of man and man, gave place to a 
society differentiated into a cultured literary 
philosophical few (the KaXoi KayaOol), and on the 
other side a double group of uncultivated slaves 
and of free citizens, who, in the words of the 
German historian Professor Beloch, understood as 
little of the Greek poets "as our (German) people 
do of Schiller and Goethe ". 2 

1 Tyrrell, Hard Sayings, p. 462. 

2 Grieschische Geschichte, 1893, vol. i., chap. xvii. 


So in Rome the brilliant society made familiar 
to us by the letters of Cicero was bought at the 
price of a degraded mob of slaves and citizens, 
instead of the simple life of early Roman civilisa- 
tion, when client and patron were linked by a 
religious bond, when no gulf separated the slaves 
from the masters, who were almost their equal in 
number, and when all partook of the songs, the 
dances, and the simple pleasures of rural life — a 
life of which the survival in the remote, half- 
deserted country villages still delighted the nobler 
hearts, or soothed the jaded votaries of pleasure, 
in the later times of civilisation. 

So in England of to-day the culture of the 
cultivated is held very high, and far above that 
of the mandarin in China. But if we take the 
lower four-fifths of the inhabitants and compare 
them with the lower four-fifths of the province of 
Shantung, about an equal population, the Chinese 
would appear to many the more intellectually 
civilised of the two. For the comparison would 
turn on the actual literature read, the manners 
and courtesies of daily life, the practical knowledge 
in the minds of the rural workmen and farmers, 
the prevalent amusements and particularly, as a 
mirror of life, the theatrical representations, the 
music hall entertainments or nightly festival of 


the western people compared with the historical 
drama still the delight of the eastern. 1 

So again on many sides we meet the sorrowing 
complaint that the poetry and beauty of rural life, 
the folklore and the peasant songs 2 of the British 
Isles and all Europe are perishing, like the old 
picturesque costumes and the old rural sports and 
pastimes, before an iron uniformity of town-made 
speech, town-made dress, and town-made manners. 

Section VIII. 

Moreover, the history of the world tells the tale 
of the fall of nations as well as their rise ; and we 
must face the fact of retrogression as well as the 
fact of progress. The great ruins in Java, Cam- 
bodia, Mexico, Guatemala, Southern Arabia ; the 
thousands of miles of stone wall terraces for ir- 

1 The love of the theatre permeates all classes of Chinese. The 
poor are admitted free to the pit ; the plays almost entirely re- 
present events of Chinese history, previous to those under the 
present reigning dynasty, and give an accurate and life-like repre- 
sentation. Like our own stage in Shakespeare's time the female 
parts are taken by boys and there is no scenery ; but the skill of 
the actors overcomes all deficiencies and holds the audience as if 
bewitched. See the works of Davis, Gray, H. E. M. James, Wells, 
Williams, and Archibald Little. 

2 Ere they die away efforts have been made to preserve their 
memory in such works as Ruskin's edition of Miss Alexander's 
Road-Side Songs in Tuscany, or Mr. G. W. White's Songs of the 
Spanish Sierras, or Mr. Douglas Hyde's Love Songs of Connaught. 


rigated agriculture on the Inyanga plateau of 
Southern Rhodesia; the sculptures in many 
islands of the Pacific — all are silent witnesses of 
former civilisations. The deciphered testimony 
of Babylonia and Egypt gives us in writing some 
of the evidence of the height of civilisation at- 
tained long ago and then lost in the valleys of the 
Euphrates, the Tigris and the Nile. Good judges 
hold that Egyptian art, whatever may have been 
the race of the artists, reached its perfection about 
b.c. 4000, and fresh discoveries are ever exciting 
our fresh admiration ; while a diligent search into 
the antiquities of Greece and Italy, and the excava- 
tions in Troas and Crete, have made known un- 
expected civilisation previous to the time we have 
been accustomed to call classical. Even to this 
day we cannot recover the Roman cement or the 
range of musical expression attained by the Greeks. 
And modern savages join with ancient monuments 
in giving their testimony to the fact of retrogres- 
sion ; some visibly declining before our eyes, 
others, notably the Fuegians, the Hottentots, the 
Esquimaux and the black Australians, proving by 
their elaborate language an anterior cultivated 
condition from which they have fallen. 

We learn indeed nothing positive on the con- 
dition of primitive man from the evidence of 


retrogression, and here as elsewhere must take 
heed lest we outrun our information. The Greeks 
and Romans played with the theory of an original 
degraded and brutal condition of mankind ; it was 
not till the nineteeth century that this theory was 
assumed as a scientific postulate to support a 
biological theory, and by a strange disregard of 
historical logic, existing savages, the lowest and 
the worst, though chronologically as modern as 
civilised races, were assumed to be scientifically 
ancient, and to be the nearest representatives of 
primitive humanity. But this assumption fails in 
three ways. First, because the proved fact of 
retrogression destroys any certainty that a given 
state of degradation is the original, and not rather 
a fallen state. Secondly, because the evidence as 
far as ascertainable on the earliest known men, 
shows them in their material and moral outfit to 
be above the level of the lowest existing savages. 
Thirdly, because the low moral state, supposed or 
postulated, of primitive men, must have rendered 
their mere survival hardly possible, still less any 

Instead, therefore, of so faulty an assumption 
the more reasonable guess would be that men 
started with some stock of material advantages, and 
resembled in moral dispositions the better among 


modern savages, like the Eastern Esquimaux, 
the Veddahs of Ceylon, the natives of the Banda 
Archipelago, the modest and hospitable Ainos of 
Japan, or some of the American Indians or Central 
African negroes, those namely who have been 
uncontaminated by European or Arab intruders. 1 

But after all this, scientifically, is mere guess- 
work, and as far as historical evidence goes, human 
evolution has no appearance of a great process of 
advance, but of oscillation between progress and 
retrogression, which may exist simultaneously in 
the self-same society. Material civilisation may 
be advancing while art and morality are declining ; 
within the very domain of morality " progress in 
benevolence may co-exist with regress in fortitude 
and purity. . . . And in every realm, growth and 
decay, life and death, seem so to intertwine and 
oscillate, that it is very gratuitous to designate the 
total process as being one or the other." 2 

1 See the evidence collected by Dr. G. Gutberlet, Der Mensch, 
and edit., 1903 ; and by Victor Cathrein, Momlphilosophie, 4th 
edit., 1904, vol. i., pp. 571-618; ii., pp. 384-391. 

2 Tyrrell, Faith of the Millions, ii., pp. 338, 339. Compare the 
passage in Newman's Development, chap, v., § vi. : " There is ever 
a maximum in earthly excellence, and the operation of the same 
causes which made things great, makes them small again. Weak- 
ness is but the resulting product of power. Events move in 
cycles ; all things come round, the sun ariseth and goeth down, 
and hasteth to his place where he arose. Flowers first bloom and 


Indeed the very progress of knowledge and the 
cultivation of reason which at first act in favour of 
material civilisation, seem to hold the germs of 
decay : all institutions being exposed to argumen- 
tative reason, the belief in any sacredness fades 
away, national traditions grow feeble, loyalty and 
patriotism give place to self-interest, a great 
empire becomes no more than a valuable com- 
mercial asset, heroic self-sacrifice in its defence, 
especially among those to whom it brings no 
palpable gain, appears foolishness, and civil dis- 
sension, the o-Tacrts of the Greeks, no longer able to 
be averted by any compromise, material civilisa- 
tion becomes its own executioner. 

The whence and the whither, the origin and 
issue of man's course, remain unexplained ; all 
things appear in a Heracleitan flux, all knowledge 
in confusion and uncertainty, and all explanations, 
one only being excepted, to end in disillusion. 

Section IX. 

Apart from views that are partial and halting there 
remain three coherent systems that have striven 

then fade ; fruit ripens and decays. The fermenting process unless 
stopped at the due point corrupts the liquor which it has created. 
The grace of spring, the richness of autumn are but for a moment, 
and worldly moralists bid us Carpi diem, for we shall have no 
second opportunity." 


from time immemorial to give a consistent theory 
of the world ; and the three are pantheism, ma- 
terialism, and theism. Either we ourselves and 
all around us are merely the manifestation of one 
and the same substance, one original force that 
thinks in a man, seizes its prey in a wild beast, 
unfolds bud and leaf in an oak, darts through the 
clouds in lightning, strikes the cliffs in a storm- 
wave ; or secondly we ourselves and all around us, 
earth and all the stars, are due to chance, the 
product of whirling atoms, how arisen, how 
ending, known to none ; or thirdly, all has arisen 
from the fiat of an intelligent Creator, and all exists 
in consequence with a definite purpose. 1 

These are the three, and among them we have 
ultimately to make our choice ; for to be rid of 
them all by professing permanent uncertainty is to 
rest in agnosticism and to abandon the pursuit of 
truth. 2 The three systems indeed are not to 
be put on a level, not simply co-ordinated, but 
rather the first two to be bracketed against the 

'Victor Cathrein, Moralphilosophie, vol. i., p. 81. 

2 The divergence of view and confusion of terminology among 
modern philosophers of English and German speech may seem to 
complicate the issue and give plausibility to the existence of some 
quart-urn quid, that cannot be resolved into materialism, pantheism, 
or theism. But time is the test; and when these soft deposits of 
modern thoughts are hardened by pressure, their character as 
one or other of the three varieties will be made manifest. 


third. For the first two uphold a monistic con- 
ception of the universe, that is, they reduce All to 
One, though pantheism would make all spiritual 
and materialism make all material ; whereas theism 
recognises the dualism of matter and spirit. And 
while pantheism and materialism agree in reject- 
ing the reality of a personal God creating and 
directing the universe, Himself being distinct from 
it, theism emphatically affirms this reality as a 
fundamental truth, without which no science physi- 
cal or historical can have a sure foundation. 

Thus the solutions of the riddle of the universe 
seem to be simplified into two, the theistic and 
antitheistic, in irreconcilable opposition, whereas 
pantheism and materialism appear rather as pro- 
vinces of one empire, or aspects of one view, and 
the passage from the one to the other easy and 
frequent as the poetical or the practical sentiment 
is predominant. So, for example, it was easy for 
Karl Marx to pass from Hegelian pantheism to 
Feuerbach's materialism, and to unfold the history 
of mankind as an evolution corresponding to the 
Darwinian interpretation of organic nature, and 
wholly based on the varying conditions of acquir- 
ing and sharing wealth. 

The present work is explanatory rather than 
controversial, and makes no profession of confuting 


pantheistic or materialistic writers or those who 
hover uncertain on the borders. 1 Much rather 
the theistic position, which is that of the vast 
majority of historical mankind, is taken as a postu- 
late without which in the words of M. Brunetiere, 2 
" history becomes a chaos, a disorderly succession of 
meaningless movements, an empty and tumultuous 
agitation, a fleeting delusion, the Maya of Indian 
philosophers, the dream we carry on without know- 
ing when it was begun, nor whether we shall finish 
it, nor why we are dreaming it. But in the light 
of the supernatural everything grows clear ; the 
life of our species is vested with a meaning, the 
history of mankind becomes organised ; we de- 
velop ourselves in the indifference or hostility of 
nature, like an empire within an empire, under a 
law partaking of the divinity of its author." 

Thus we may sum up in M. Brunetiere's apho- 
rism : "The hypothesis of Providence is the con- 
dition of intelligible history ". 

Perhaps some of the acutest criticism of their theories is to 
be found scattered in the works of Fr. George Tyrrell, particularly 
in his Faith of the Millions, vol. ii., Essays xx. and xxii. Whether 
Mr. Benjamin Kidd's noted work on Western Civilisation is or is 
not pantheistic can scarcely be determined, so long as it remains 
uncertain whether, "projection into the future," to which he so 
frequently appeals, refers to this world or to the next, 

translated in The Pilot, 21st May, 1904. 


Section X. 

But those would be sadly deceived who thought 
that the postulate of theism at once made all 
things easy. 

The opposing theories would never again and 
again have acquired adherents so numerous and 
so great, and would not have become the chronic 
maladies of the human mind, were it not that the 
path of theism is strewn with boulders. To re- 
move some of them from the highway of truth is 
the purpose of this work, a task made easier by 
recent science physical and historical. 

If we looked indeed on the surface of things, 
the notion of order in history and the guidance of 
man's course by Divine Providence seem contra- 
dicted by facts. " To consider the world in its 
length and breadth, its various history, the many 
races of man, their starts, their fortunes, their 
mutual alienation, their conflicts ; and then their 
ways, habits, governments, forms of worship ; 
their enterprises, their aimless courses, their ran- 
dom achievements and acquirements, the impotent 
conclusion of long-standing facts, the tokens so 
faint and broken of a superintending design, the 
blind evolution of what turn out to be great 
powers or truths, the progress of things, as if from 


unreasoning elements, not towards final causes, 
the greatness and littleness of man, his far-reach- 
ing aims, his short duration, the curtain hung over 
his futurity, the disappointments of life, the defeat 
of good, the success of evil, physical pain, mental 
anguish, the prevalence and intensity of sin, the 
pervading idolatries, the corruptions, the dreary 
hopeless irreligion, ... all this is a vision to 
dizzy and appal, and inflicts upon the mind a sense 
of profound mystery, which is absolutely beyond 
human solution." 1 

But the negative solution of him who hath said 
in his heart, There is no God, only issues in a 
second problem more difficult than the first. We 
cannot raise the question : How can there be evil 
if God exists? without raising the second, How can 
there be good if He exist not ? 2 

If our hearts are frozen at the sight of evil, let 
them be enkindled at the sight of good. And to 
see good we must do more than look on the 
surface of things, for truth is not on the surface of 
things but in the depths. Nay, virtue and sanctity 
are in great measure secret gifts known only to 
God and good angels. The evil of the world is 

1 Newman, Apologia, chap, v., ad wit. 

a Boethius, Consol. Phil, i., iv. : "Quidam familiarium quaesivit: 
si quidem Deus, inquit, est, unde mala ? bona vero unde, si non est ?" 



not seeming in its existence but seeming in its 
predominance. Our picture of the world is often 
like a geological map that shows by its colours the 
uppermost rock though only a shallow layer on the 
surface and without showing the rock below though 
of ten times the thickness. For evil is uppermost 
but everywhere underlined by good. We observe 
all startling acts of wickedness, but the daily round 
of ordinary goodness passes unobserved ; we hear 
the drunken clamour of the streets, but not the 
silent worshippers in the watches of the night ; we 
hear the loud iniquity of the prime of life, not the 
silent change in sickness and old age ; we see the 
ill deeds all too plainly, but the excuses for ill 
deeds, the confusion of mind, the stress of tempta- 
tion, these are mostly hidden ; we see the rough 
exterior, the coarse violence, the brutal ungodliness 
of whole quarters of our great cities, not the com- 
passion and generosity, not the courage and chi- 
valry, not the instinct of prayer concealed all the 
while below the surface. Do we not find out 
daily, if we search, how harshness in these dark 
regions avails nothing, while sympathy wins the 
heart ? There must be a heart then to win. The 
very graceless youths, for whom many can offer no 
better remedy than the scourge and the prison- 
house, can be made docile as children by kindness 


and sympathy. Truly all men are better than 
they seem and their actions often worse than their 
hearts. Even the squalid tenements of English 
cities are daily witnesses of mutual help and 
unfailing charity. And if in the darker places of 
the world we can discover so many flowers of 
goodness, still more in the lighter, and can count 
up the beautiful aggregate of the acts of human 
love, filial and parental, fraternal and conjugal, and 
the ever freshly springing stream of childhood and 
innocence. Nor are the physicians of our bodies 
and our goods to be heard as judges : rather as 
ex parte witnesses whose main business is with the 
abnormal conditions of disease and injustice. A 
better judgment is by the physicians of our souls 
who look on both sides, the good and the evil ; 
who see how evil is made the occasion of good, as 
it were its counterpart and correlative ; who read 
the unwritten record of unexhausted patience, of 
continuous self-sacrifice, of repentant tears ; to 
whom ill doers are transmuted into the material for 
the triumph of grace, and appear the yet ungar- 
nered harvest of the Passion and the Cross. 1 

1 See Faber's works, especially The Creator and the Creature, bk. 
iii., chap. ii. 


Section XI. 
Taking the word antinomy to mean a seeming 
and soluble as distinct from a real and insoluble 
contradiction, and holding fast to the truth of the 
theistic explanation of the world, we are plainly 
confronted with a great antinomy, a thesis and 
antithesis to be harmonised in a synthesis. To do 
this is the claim of Christianity, the mighty claim 
to solve, and to stand alone in solving, the riddle 
of the universe. The claim is to satisfy the crav- 
ing of the soul for love that is more than the 
transient love which earth can offer, for an ideal 
that is not finite but infinite, for goodness, truth 
and beauty that are not relative but absolute ; all 
else proving vanity and illusion. It is a claim to 
be alone in correspondence with man's spiritual 
life, and in man's actual condition to be the only 
true theism according to the old saying that man's 
soul was Christian by nature (anima naturaliter 
Christiana). For apart from Christianity mere 
theism, if it teach the infinitude of the Creator 
and the nothingness of the creature, fails to bridge 
the gulf between the finite and the infinite and 
satisfy man's yearning for companionship with 
God. All it can do is to lower God to man's 
level. But the Christian doctrine of Grace and 
Adoption leaves Divine Majesty intact and yet 


raises men up to be called and to be the children 
of God ; and this supernatural elevation results in 
the blending of an awestruck reverence with 
familiar tenderness, in that lowly confidence and 
daring love, the peculiar signet of Christian 
sanctity. Indeed, Christianity tells us we are so 
completely made for God that we are not fully 
ourselves except when we are united to Him ; 
that "the soul, apart from God, is as meaningless, 
as useless as a stray key ". 1 

And the Christian claim is to give a plain and 
simple answer to the perpetual questioning of 
weariness, pain and sorrow, to solve the problem 
they offer to the intellect, to show their true 
significance, and to be the Divine messenger that 
brings an effectual consolation. 

And there is the claim externally to have 
transformed the world by introducing so to speak 
a new dynamic principle rendering stagnation im- 
possible, not a preservative indeed against catas- 
trophes to particular civilisations, but a provider 
of a principle of recovery ; a transformation of 
economic and political life, of language, literature, 
art, philosophy and (at least in potentiality) of the 
sciences, thus becoming the very keystone of 

1 Tyrrell, hex Orandi, introd. and chap. xv. ; also Hard Say- 
ings, p. 3 ; and Faber, Bethlehem, p. 453, ed. i860. 


civilisation, so that the Incarnation may be held 
the turning point or centre of human history. 

It claims to have introduced a circle of moral 
notions peculiar to itself, "the strength of weak- 
ness, the triumph of defeat, the blessing of sorrow, 
the might of pain, the power of concealment, the 
glory of submission V It has " an answer which 
will give a meaning to pain and temptation and 
sin and sorrow, which will point to law and order 
where otherwise there is nothing apparent but pain- 
ful darkness and confusion, which will verify and 
connect what is to all seeming manifold and discon- 
nected," so that darkness is touched with joy and 
the needs of the human soul at last are satisfied. 2 

And while other teachers have vainly striven 
to acquire a comprehensive history of the world 
as a whole, some intelligible survey of humanity, 
Christianity claims to have entered into possession, 
to have appeared as man's redemption at a definite 
historical time, to stretch forward through all time 
to the end, to stretch backwards in preparation 
through all time to the beginning, to rest secure 
on the timeless and the infinite. 3 

1 Faber, Blessed Sacrament, bk. iv., sect. iii. 

2 Tyrrell, Hard Sayings, introd. 

8 Otto Willmann, Geschichte des Idealismus, vol. ii., p. g. The 
theological view of the history of Creation was put by Faber (fol- 
lowing Lessius) with singular attractiveness fifty years ago in The 
Creator and the Creature, especially in book iii., chap. ix. 


And thus as the explanation of all things, as 
Alpha and Omega, the Christian Church declares 
itself to be, not one religion among many, but the 
one religion for all places and all times ; her view 
of life not to be one view among many, but the 
one and only view, to be the judge of all and be 
judged by none, the higher being able to compre- 
hend the lower but not the lower to comprehend 
the higher ; she claims alone to be the fitting 
vessel of supernatural gifts ; to have gathered up 
all the scattered fragments of true religion in the 
pagan world, to have combined in harmonious 
proportions the three constituent elements of true 
religion ; namely a holy law, a mystical union, an 
intellectual doctrine. 

At last therefore the freedom of man was re- 
conciled with the sovereignty of God and the 
order of the universe ; at last the gulf between 
unity and plurality, singleness and multiplicity, was 
bridged over ; at last the yearning of man's heart 
was satisfied for a God at once transcendant and 
yet immanent ; at once adorable and yet lovable. 1 
This is a mighty claim indeed : that Christianity 
was the culmination of all that went before intel- 
lectually and morally, and a foundation of a new 
intellectual and moral life on a higher plane. 

'Willmann, Iclealismus, vol. ii., pp. 91, 214. 


Section XII. 

Although at this stage we can make no valid 
induction, still a certain presumption and pre- 
liminary justification of these great claims can be 
found in the course of the world's history since the 
advent of Christianity. Certain portions of the 
world were converted to the new creed and there 
arose by degrees, and has ever after with varying 
fortunes continued, a Christendom. But great 
portions of the world, many races and nations have 
to this day never been effectually penetrated by 
Christian influence, and thus lasting with no 
breach of continuity between themselves and their 
ancestors before Christ, may be called Fore- 
Christians. A third distinct body of men are 
those whose fathers or forefathers or it may be 
themselves, have passed through Christian in- 
fluence, and rejected it for something that seemed 
to them better, an improved or complete religion, 
or a truer philosophy of life. They may be called 
After-Christians, and are composed of two prin- 
cipal groups, the Mahometans who have sup- 
planted the Christians in vast regions of Africa 
and the East, and secondly a group with various 
names who have spread in less than a century and 
a half through parts of Europe, North America 


and Australasia, nowhere wholly dominant, but 
in most of France and Australasia, in much of 
the North American Union, and in parts of Eng- 
land and Germany, sufficiently powerful to be a 
serious influence on social life. There still remains 
a fourth body of men, the Jews, who occupy a 
position apart, neither Fore-Christian nor After- 
Christian, but standing to Christianity in a singular 

Now beginning with this fourth body of men, 
their history presents a singularity that must be 
explained by any philosophy of history, any theory 
of sociology, that deserves the name. Through 
nearly nineteen centuries they appear apart and 
hostile to the rest of mankind ; always feared, 
often hated as usurious parasites, often persecuted, 
yet ever surviving, never assimilated, as if masters 
of some hidden power, sometimes conspicuous 
for great works of benevolence, rising ever and 
anon to be great physicians (as in the ninth and 
twelfth and fourteenth centuries) and great finan- 
ciers (as under Louis le Debonnaire or in Anjevin 
England or in the sixteenth century Papal States, 
or in Europe of the nineteenth century), some- 
times shut up in ghettos to protect them from 
popular violence, sometimes forming ghettos of 
their own (as in London of to-day), conspicuous 


for mutual help and yet for making pitiless profit 
from the distress and ignorance of their fellow-men, 
themselves appearing in many things exempt from 
the weaknesses of ordinary men. 

Their singular history supports the Christian 
claims, because Christianity alone gives an in- 
telligible explanation — it can be read in the last 
chapter of the Grammar of Assent — and raises a 
presumption in its favour, at least till some other 
teacher can give to the cumulative marvels of this 
history an equally intelligible interpretation. 

Section XIII. 

The presumption in favour of Christian claims 
is strengthened if we glance at the fortunes of the 
Fore-Christians and the After-Christians. Let the 
last be taken first, and the first among them the 
Mahometans. From being no more than a cloud 
on the horizon the religion of Mahomet in a few 
years overspread the East, swept half the existing 
Roman empire into its power, overthrew the 
Zoroastrian kingdom of the Sassanians in Persia, 
and the Christian Teutonic kingdom of Spain ; 
and seemed to call up a civilisation with agriculture 
and manufactures, literature and philosophy, science 
and architecture, that threw the Christian world 
into the shade. Nay, while the world was full of 


hereditary inequalities of wealth and power, Islam 
at one bound seemed to leap over centuries, 
and to secure the equality which is the aim of 
modern socialists ; if the sexes were separate, at 
least the men among themselves, and the women 
among themselves, each formed a frankly demo- 
cratic society, all classes mingling in free equality, 
the lowest able to rise to the highest temporal 
post, worth not birth being taken as the test, and 
the sphere of friendship and social intercourse 
being enlarged, because the spectre of mesalliance 
was exorcised. Moreover, the simple monotheism, 
the plenteous almsgiving, the decorous public 
worship, join in giving to the religion of Mahomet 
the semblance of advance. 

But exitus acta probant : wait for the grey 
evening of that brilliant day. Or rather there is 
no need to wait, but to look closer, that we may 
discover the true aspect of this mighty creed. 

The seeming progress of intellectual and material 
civilisation in the ex-Christian countries was all 
in the earlier and not in the latter half of their 
history, and is judged by good observers to have 
been mainly the work not of the After-Christians 
themselves, but of the Christians, or Jews, or 
Persians under their dominion, or at least the 
early generations of converts to the new creed. 


The glory of the eastern Caliphate, Ommiad and 
Abbasid, has the name of Arab culture, and used 
Arabic as its vehicle ; but in reality was the con- 
tinuation of the Greek, the Syrian, and the Persian 
culture which preceded it, a culture of which the 
greatness is still imperfectly appreciated among 
us, like that in the seventh century of the two 
great empires of Persia and Byzantium. 1 The 
fairy parts of the Arabian Nights are not of 
Arabian but of Persian or Indian origin. Neither 
the beautiful architecture of the eastern Caliphate 
nor the deep philosophy were Islam's own, but 
were drawn from feeding on others, were para- 
sitic and therefore transitory. So too the Moorish 
culture (as it is called) in Spain was parasitic. 
The Arab literature of Spain has made no per- 
manent addition to the intellectual possessions of 
mankind ; Averroes, the most eminent among them, 
was in no sense a product of Islam, and the intel- 
lectual bloom was the work of those Christians 
and Jews who for the sake of preserving their 
property had apostatised. Thus being without 
root the culture withered away when there was 
no longer any great body of Christians or lapsed 
Christians to be its support ; witness the rapid 

1 See the manual by Prof. Pizzi, the Orientalist, of Turin, 
L'Islamismo, Milano, 1903. 


decay after the thirteenth century. Indeed at the 
end of the fourteenth century Ibn Khaldun tells 
how in Arabia, Syria, Persia and North Africa 
civilisation and population had fallen, and the very 
land seemed to have lost its fertility under the 
blighting rule of his fellow- Arabs. 1 

In this there is nothing strange ; for the Ma- 
hometan religion itself brings no new principle of 
progress into the world, but much rather stereo- 
types a low form of civilisation, and is not by 
accident but by essence the opponent of all higher 
culture. So even supposing it raised the pagan 
pre-Moslem Arabs, a very dubious elevation, if 
we regard the old chivalrous heroic literature of 
the " Ignorance," as Moslems call the time, 2 the 
new religion effectually blocked any prospect of a 
great future civilisation. 

For Islam in very truth is a foe to the human 
race. The uncompromising Unitarianism puts a 
gulf between God and man ; the theology, a nar- 
row Calvinism, inhumane and unprogressive, is 
the death warrant of culture ; the sacred Koran 

1 See the instructive extract translated in Dr. Flint's Philosophy 
of History, 1893, pp. 166, 167. 

2 See W. P. Ker, The Dark Ages, 1904, p. 14; Baumgartner in 
Stimmen aus Maria-Laach, Aug. and Sept., 1894 (giving many illus- 
trations) ; Lane Poole in The Academy, 2nd Feb., 1878 (resuming 
A. von Kremer). 


was a substitute for all literature and science, was 
the fount of jurisprudence, 1 the base of a militant 
theocracy, that showed its fruits when Omar, a few 
years after the conquest of Egypt, burnt the Alex- 
andrian library, 2 as the libraries of Ctesiphon and 
Seleucia had been burnt before, and showed the 
same fruits again in East and West, when philo- 
sophy was found incompatible with Mahometan 
theology and was repressed, first in the East, and 
finally during the thirteenth century in the West. 3 
This theology displays a narrow formalism ; the 
five principal duties binding on all, ablution, prayer, 
fasting, pilgrimage and almsgiving (as a means of 
supporting the holy war against infidels), these 
constitute a mere external religion, and imply no 
change of heart, no sorrow for sin, far less any 
loving union with God. Much rather this man- 
made creed fosters spiritual pride and ruthless perse- 
cution. Non-Moslems are despised as infidel dogs, 
practically without rights, mere outlaws, with the 
sword of massacre ever suspended over their heads. 

1 On the identification in Islam of law with religion see Sir 
James Bryce, Studies in History and Jurisprudence, Essay xiii. 

2 The needed correction of Gibbon is given in The Quarterly 
Review, July, 1895. 

3 Previously attempts had been made, notably by the Brothers 
of Sincerity in Mesopotamia about the year 1000, to affect a pan- 
theistic transmutation of the Koran. See The International Journal 
of Ethics, July, 1898. 


This awful logic of the Moslem creed was de- 
veloped by degrees, and the condition of the 
Christian subjects, from the early days of human- 
ity and toleration in Syria, Egypt, North Africa 
and Spain, grew progressively worse. Solemn 
promises were broken, the churches seized or 
destroyed, and the Christians ground down under 
a ferocious despotism. 1 And in our own time 
some of us remember the massacres of the 
Maronites, of the Armenians, of the Bulgarians, 
or have heard our fathers tell of fair Scio with 
her harvest of death. Nor can we expect 
otherwise of a smouldering fire but that from 
time to time it will burst out into blood-red 

Further, the jurisprudence of Islam is at once 
a witness and a promoter of lax family life. The 
complicated rules of succession to property, the 
complete assimilation of realty and personalty, 
the separate property of married women, all are 
adapted for transient families, habitual polygamy, 
habitual divorce ; and effectually hinder in general 
any stock of honourable family traditions, any care- 
ful guarding of genealogies, any solid peasantry 
rooted to the soil. A careful comparison of the 
details of family life would place the After-Chris- 

1 Dozy, Histoire des Musulmans d'Espagne, ii., pp. 48-50. 


tian Mahometans immeasurably below the Fore- 
Christian Chinese. 1 

Indeed the pleasant equality among Mahometan 
men is bought at the price of woman's degradation. 
Held inferior in intelligence, inferior in virtue, in- 
ferior in religion, brought up as far as possible in 
seclusion, and trained to be led by the two principal 
motives of fear and sensuality; women form a world 
apart, are no companions for their husbands, can 
invoke no religious sanction to support his con- 
stancy or affection, are as drudges among the 
poor, as courtesans among the rich. Plurality 
of wives, plurality of concubines, the legal recog- 
nition of the status of slave concubine, are in 
startling contrast to the austerity of Christian 
teaching. But even the lax code of Islam is 
not wide enough for the insatiable cravings of 
licentiousness ; the standard, low as it is, remains 
too high ; and the realm of these After-Christians 
is covered with a slimy deposit of moral corruption. 

Yet even here let us beware of exaggeration. 
For first the power of good breaks out amid the 
worst surroundings ; and in the midst of Islam 
we may find sincere attachment between husband 
and wife though the wife has lost her beauty and 

1 This and other comparisons can be found in the author's 
■Studies of Family Life, 1886. 


lacks, both herself and her relatives, any wealth or 
power. And secondly while the rich Moslems and 
the townsfolk tend to self-destruction, the case is 
not the same with poor husbandmen, rural life 
often being a purificator, and giving less scope for 
the moral degradation of women. And thirdly the 
dark picture above applies only to where Islam 
is fully developed and can work out its true nature 
as the supplanter of Christendom ; but not to its 
merely nominal adherents like the Bedouins of 
the Arabian desert, the Turcomans or Kurds of 
Eastern Asia Minor, the Berber tribes of the 
Sahara, and perhaps only in a lesser degree to 
the Indian and negro Mahometans, to Delhi and 
Timbuctoo : for it is not there that Christianity 
has been weighed and found wanting. 

Section XIV. 

The second group of After-Christians afford on 
a superficial view a startling contrast to the first, 
but on a closer view a startling likeness. They 
began in France in the eighteenth century, the 
second example, Islam being the first, of a large 
body of men, as distinct from the sporadic and 
chronic secession of individuals, embracing a new 
doctrine to supersede Christianity. Voltaire and 
Rousseau were the most influential heralds of this 



new revolt against Christianity, and France having 
been under their influence for more than a hundred 
years, is the most conspicuous example of After- 
Christianity. But other countries have followed, 
the north-easterly and more settled portion of 
the United States from about the middle of the 
nineteenth century, and spreading with the spread 
of the elementary, gratuitous, and non-religious 
schools they call "public," long and blindly wor- 
shipped, and now calling forth the humiliating 
avowal : We cannot teach duty or the spirit of 
obedience. 1 In England the Christian forces have 
been stronger, but still in England (as distinct from 
Wales, Scotland and Ireland) large masses both 
urban and rural have abandoned Christianity. In 
the German Empire their numbers and localities 
can be roughly judged by the number of the 
Social Democrats ; in Australia, New Zealand, 
and the Canadian province of Ontario they are 
certainly numerous, but their proportion to the 
Christians is guesswork. 

These cases present the greatest variety of race, 
of government, of economic surroundings. And 
the actual doctrines of life professed by the leaders 

'See for recent witnesses G. Stanley Hall's Adolescence, and 
W. E. Chancellor's American Schools, reviewed in The Times, 31st 
March, 1905. 


of this movement are also various. They may be 
theistic (like the other great branch of After- 
Christians), or pantheistic, or materialistic, or halt 
on temporary standpoints between these three 
main positions. 

What is common to them is negative, the re- 
jection of the Christian view of the end of life, of 
the Christian view of man's nature, of the Christian 
view of the sanctity of marriage and the training 
of the young. 1 In these negations they resemble 
the Moslems ; and they are like them in being 
essentially parasitic, and destructive of the very 
civilisation they seem to foster : the early en- 
thusiasm ends in bitter disillusion ; they only 
differ in the process being much more rapid than 
with their earlier brethren. France offers as yet 
the most complete specimen for observation : the 
brilliant outburst of emancipated humanity, her 
tongue, her influence, and later her arms dominat- 
ing all Europe, admired or dreaded, and then 
the steady ebb of that glory, as the accumulated 
waters of Christianity gradually flowed away. To 
sink from being in the first place politically to the 
seventh or lower is a comparatively small matter, 
and may be due to other causes ; the loss of 

1 An account of many leading After-Christians is to be found 
in the brilliant pages of Dr. Barry's Heralds of Revolt, 1904. 


literary and intellectual eminence is graver ; but 
the main point is the loss of moral influence and 
to be a labelled specimen of decadence : here the 
After-Christian appears in his development ; he 
treats as illusion all belief in God, as illusion 
all devotion to prince or people, as illusion all 
eternal and spiritual human love, as illusion his 
own free will and undying personality. So all 
that gave life its value and dignity is abandoned, 
and all that remains are the calculated pleasures of 
the cynic who resolves to be a dupe no more. 1 

One visible and outward sign of the changed 
condition of France is the record of vital statistics. 
Slowly, steadily the birth-rate of France has sunk 
lower and lower till the population has reached a 
stationary state and long ago would actually have 
declined were it not that certain portions remain 
Christian and the surplus of births, e.g., in Auvergne 
and Brittany, supply the deficiency in Normandy 
and Picardy, and is masked by the immigration 
of Flemings and Italians. And here again is a 
resemblance to the depopulation of Islam ; here 
again the After-Christians appear as parasites 
fed by others ; and the importation of Circassian 
and negro slaves into Moslem countries, the former 
raids of Barbary pirates, and the transformation of 

'Tyrrell, Faith of the Millions, ii., p. 258 (quoting F. W. Myers). 


kidnapped Christian children into Turkish janis- 
saries, are analogous to the foreign immigration 
into France and the absorption of the Highlanders 
into After-Christian populations. 

Section XV. 

Analogous facts are to be observed among the 
Americans. Their public schools have produced 
a type that tends to self-destruction ; the high 
birth-rate of olden times, the " American in- 
crease" that so startled Malthus a century ago, 
has decayed pari passu with the decay of religion, 
and now the native American is in process of 
disappearance ; in the case of Massachusetts 
where elaborate statistics are kept the very 
figures can be given ; x and this sterility is openly 
deplored by the President of the Republic. 2 The 
population of the United States advances in- 
deed by leaps and bounds, but is not composed 
of the descendants of the older settlers, much 
rather by the multitudinous new-comers from the 
Christian parts of Europe, many of these emi- 
grants soon to be caught in the After-Christian 
whirlpool and to be taught and practise the new 
ways of life and the new morals of divorce and 

1 Quarterly Journal of Economics, vol. xvi., Nov., 1901, Feb., 1902, 
''North American Review, July, 1903. 


sterility. Similarly in Australia and New Zea- 
land in the bloom of their first After-Christian 
efflorescence the blight of a decaying birth-rate 
has darkened with startling suddenness their 
brilliant prospects. Again the Germans as far as 
After-Christian are beginning to show symptoms 
of an inward malady. Their superb literature 
(now seemingly of the past), their patient science, 
their supreme music, were the heritage of centuries 
of Christianity ; no less than their solid family life 
and their traditions of industry. Like the French 
before them their exploits were wonderful and 
the world admired and still admires ; but already 
they suffer from a persistent and organised force of 
social disorder ; and if as yet the population has 
advanced apace, and the excess of births over 
deaths amounted in the thirty years following their 
victorious war to some eighteen million souls, 
while in France it amounted to little over one 
million, 1 all analogy points to a speedy diminution 
of the German birth-rate ; nay, already it has 
sunk low in Berlin, the centre of After-Christian 
thought ; while for the empire as a whole, the 
birth-rate in the large and numerous Christian 
regions masks the earlier stages of the After- 

1 Naturally allowance being made for the alteration of territory ; 
and Alsace-Lorraine being eliminated from the comparison. 


Christian decline. And in England, the same tell- 
tale witness of vital statistics shows during the 
last twenty-five years a steady decline in the birth- 
rate ; and this fact, as well as the serious increase 
of divorce, the growth of life in hotels and flats, 
the open abandonment of Christian family life 
among sections of the higher, the middle and the 
artisan classes, all show a visible approximation 
to the conditions of France. It is not then sur- 
prising if grave writers warn us of the perils of a 
materialised civilisation, of spiritual atrophy, of the 
vices of popular government that no manipulation 
can amend, but only regeneration ; and that though 
we may see the spectre drawing near, v/e may be 
unable to arrest our inevitable decline. 1 Truly 
inevitable ! but only if we will not hear the one 
Healer of the nations. 

Further details of After-Christianity, though 
available, are here unnecessary, where we are 
only seeking a preliminary presumption in favour 
of the Christian claims. It is enough that the 
examples before us seem to point to a probable 
conclusion, namely, that Christianity is final, that it 
provides the highest type of family life (on which 
all society rests), and that those who desert 

1 The Times, 13th Jan., 1905, in the reviews of Dr. Dill's Roman 
Society and of Mr. Hobhouse's Democracy and Reaction. 


Christianity are cut off from the possibility of 
reverting to the higher types of Fore-Christian 
families (like the solid family of modern inner 
China, of regal Rome, of Homeric Greece, of the 
Egyptians of the Great Pyramids), and find them- 
selves driven back to lower forms, and threatened 
with the worst abominations of outcast and de- 
graded races. But then, inasmuch as family life 
is the main foundation of civilisation and of happi- 
ness ; and no substitute is available for the love 
between husband and wife, parent and child, 
brother and sister ; nor device yet discovered for 
man's moral outfit, that can compare in efficacy 
with being brought up in a devout and honourable 
home, it follows that After-Christians of all kinds, 
in attacking the Christian family, by the very 
attack stand condemned. 1 

Section XVI. 

On the Fore-Christians who have lived since the 
advent of Christianity little need here be said — 
little, though the greater part of mankind through 

1 So the theory of Dr. Francis Galton, renewed by the Ameri- 
can Professor Ross, " on the all-importance of the best breed," and 
how every institution is to stand or fall by the breed of human 
beings it favours (Quarterly Journal of Economics, vols. xvi. and 
xvii.), though sadly astray on the facts of history, still points un- 
wittingly to the all-importance of Christian family life. 


1900 years is included — little, though their for- 
tunes show almost infinite variety, and the tale 
would tell of the rise and fall of whole literatures 
and civilisations — little, because they can all be 
embraced in the negative generalisation, that apart 
from Christians and After-Christians and taken as 
a world by themselves, no general law is to be 
found for them, no steadfast evolution, no philo- 
sophy of history, no scientific explanation of their 
vicissitudes. How was it, for example, that the 
civilisation in Persia was so brilliant in the sixth 
century, and of Vijayanagar (Southern India) in 
the fifteenth and sixteenth, and the Jaina temples 
of Dilwarra (South Rajputana) of the twelfth cen- 
tury so indescribably beautiful ? How account 
for the languages and culture of the Hausas of 
Central Africa before they were conquered by the 
Felah Arabs ? — for the high position of women, and 
the art and industry, among the Scandinavian 
Vikings ? — for the persistent civilisation of the 
Chinese and their golden age of poetry in the 
seventh, eighth and ninth centuries ? — for the arts of 
the mid-nineteenth century Japanese ? — for the grim 
civilisation of the Mexicans and the ordered social- 
ism of the Peruvians as found by the Spaniards ? — 
for the marvellous empire of the Tartars when our 
early Edwards were reigning ? 


All seems chaos till we grasp the principle by 
which the very vicissitudes can be made orderly 
and take their place in the circular movement of 
Fore-Christian history. The Incarnation is for all 
time, and in the historical as distinct from the 
theological sense, for them the Incarnation is not 
yet come. No one can reprove them (it is of 
nations, tongues and tribes I am speaking, not of 
individuals) with having cast aside Christianity. 
If hitherto their civilisation has never been able to 
overpass a certain level, if their best hope has been 
to retain that level and not roll backwards down 
the slope, still they have the prospect of Christi- 
anity in front of them and all the potentialities of 
advance ; they are not doomed to degradation and 
decay ; if they have already been degraded they 
can be raised again even if standing so low as the 
very savages of Western Australia, witness the 
work of the Benedictines at New Norcia ; and to 
the Christian vision they stretch over the globe as 
fields white for harvest. 

How far great portions of Islam may be reckoned 
among them has been briefly indicated, nor will I 
presume to judge further. But this seems likely, 
that Fore-Christians, when Christianity is mani- 
festly put before them and they come as it were 
to the knowledge of good and evil (perhaps the 


Japanese are a good example, not indeed in the 
sixteenth and seventeenth centuries but now in the 
twentieth), have before them a solemn alternative, it 
being no longer possible as a third choice to remain 
morally as they were, in a state of unstable equili- 
brium. Two courses and two alone are open to 
them ; and within no great period of time they must 
needs follow the one or the other, must take their 
stand with the Christians or the After-Christians 
and for good or for evil abide the consequences. 

[The world's religions and their numbers may be 
given from the careful studies of Fr. Krose in the 
Stimmen aus Maria-Loach, July and August, 1903. 

Christians of all sorts are reckoned at 549 millions 
(mainly under the heads of Catholics 264, Protes- 
tants 166, and Greek Orthodox 109). The rest are 
as follows : — 

Confucians and Ancestor Worshippers 235 millions 
Brahmans (Hindus) . . . .210 ,, 
Mahometans of all kinds . . . 202 ,, 
Fetish Worshippers and other Pagans 144 „ 

Taoists (of China) . 
Shintoists (of Japan) 
Old Indian worships 
Jews .... 
Sundry .... 




1 1 



In this catalogue the After-Christians have no rubric 
to themselves, and are to be extracted almost wholly 
from the three headings of Catholics, Protestants 
and Mahometans, and among these three, chiefly 
from those who speak French, English, German, 
Arabic or Turkish. To give any figures of their 
actual numbers would be mere guesswork. 

The figure on Buddhism corresponds with the 
reasonable estimate of Sir M. Monier-Williams 
{Buddhism, 1889) correcting former controversial 
and extravagant estimates like that of Rhys Davids 
raising the numbers of Buddhists to 500 millions. 
It may be added that the moral over-estimates of 
Buddhism have been even more excessive than 
the numerical, and have required to be reduced to 
the level of reason. This has been done by many, 
and perhaps by none better than by Dahlmann 
in the Stimmen ans Maria-Laach, Nov., 1897.] 

Section XVII. 

If we have raised a presumption in favour of 
Christian claims, still a presumption can be 
rebutted ; and just as theism has grave difficulties 
which in fact can only be met by Christianity as 
complete theism, so Christianity itself has grave 
difficulties which can only be met by the Church 
as complete Christianity, the Church to which in 


the Creed we make our profession of loyalty : 
Credo in Sanctum Ecc/esiam Catholicam. If 
we are to have the explanation of world-history 
we must first have the true theory — rationale — 
idea — of the Christian Church and her life through 
eighteen centuries. This is the master key to 
open a hundred closed doors ; this is Kirchen- 
gesckichte als Weltgeschichtc, the world record 
made intelligible by the Church record ; this the 
indispensable and flexible instrument of research, 
bringing deductive reasoning into agreement with 
inductive, theory with fact, hypothesis with veri- 
fication ; this alone puts the relation of the natural 
and the supernatural in a light that we can 
endure. 1 

1 For lack of this key we find that excellent advocates grow 
incoherent and faltering on the Christian claims. Because 
Christianity has only spread b)' degrees and only by degrees has 
exercised its social as distinct from its individual influence, they 
think that Christianity was misunderstood from the first, that " the 
glorious and comprehensive truth set forth in the parables of the 
kingdom was for centuries ignored or sadly narrowed and per- 
verted, and is, in fact, very defectively apprehended even at the 
present day " (Flint's Philosophy of History, and ed., p. 97). But 
how then can the Incarnation be the centre of the world's history ? 
And if Christianity was given over for centuries to degrading 
thraldom, priestly obscurantism, false superstition ; if it departed 
from truth, justice and liberty for ages (ibid., pp. 121, 184, 343, 387), 
how could Christ have come in the fulness of time, and in Him all 
things have been renewed ? or how could the martyrs have given 
the testimony of their blood on a misunderstanding ? Thus a 
noble thesis falls to nought because of untenable presuppositions. 


Let us therefore gaze steadily on the Christian 
Church if perchance we may discern her linea- 
ments and her characteristics. For if Church 
History is the key to Universal History, the 
notes of the Church, the marks by which we may 
recognise her, are of world-wide importance and 
neither Christianity, nor Theism, nor the course 
of society can be understood without them. 

Now one mark or token of the Christian Church, 
indeed a primary characteristic, is to observe in all 
things the golden mean. She incorporates into her 
system a multitude of truths, yet is ever mindful 
that unity precedes multiplicity, that single truths 
represent one aspect only of truth, and cannot pro- 
perly be understood by themselves ; so that if we 
dwell on them overmuch as single and apart, we 
insensibly turn them from being truths into being 
errors : not that truth can contradict truth, but that 
our notions of truth can contradict each other, as 
being insufficient exhibitions, inadequate repre- 
sentations, partial apprehensions, instead of the 
whole truth. 

It is not surprising then that to many the 
Christian Church appears in her history and 
teaching to be full of paradox, to be involved in 
contradiction. But they forget that from the very 
nature of her claims, from the weakness of human 


thought and the imperfections of human language, 
man's lack of understanding and of expression, 
they must expect to find in her, not contradictions 
but seeming contradictions or antinomies, for 
which without fail she provides a practical solu- 
tion ; and most often also a theoretical solution ; 
but not always ; else the infinite Creator could be 
fully grasped by the finite creature ; which, accord- 
ing to the commonplace, would in itself be the 
greatest of contradictions. Thus the great anti- 
nomies of God being One yet Three, of Christ 
being God yet Man, of man being free yet in the 
hand of omnipotent foreknowledge, these are 
not to be harmonised in any synthesis man's 
intelligence can devise, but are to be received as 
mysteries which no imagination can depict. Our 
image of God "never is one, but broken into 
numberless partial aspects independent each of 
each. . . . We know one truth about Him and 
another truth, but we cannot image both of 
them together ... we drop the one while we 
turn to take up the other." For purposes of de- 
votion they must be dwelt on separately not in 
combination ; but again not dwelt on exclusively, 
lest we rush in one direction beyond the limits of 
the truth. 1 

1 Grammar of Assent, part i., chap, iv., § z. 


Section XVIII. 

Similar limitations confront us in non -theological 
matters : the problem of free will has to be faced 
even by those who will not hear of revelation. 
Thus the genius of Schelling saw that history 
combined freedom and necessity, and he made 
brilliant efforts, one after another, to show how the 
combination could be effected, all indeed in vain 
as the clue was lacking. 1 Again, we cannot deny 
the existence of space, though the idea can gain 
no rest in our minds; "for we find it impossible 
to say that it comes to a limit anywhere ; and it 
is incomprehensible to say that it runs out in- 
finitely ; and it seems to be unmeaning if we say 
that it does not exist till bodies come into it, and 
thus is enlarged according to an accident." a 

A similar dilemma afflicts us regarding time ; 3 
and even in physical science no experimentalist 
can answer the question how the will can act on 
the muscles ; astronomy and biology seem in con- 
tradiction on the age of the earth ; the nature of 
matter and force, the origin of motion, the origin of 

1 Flint, Philosophy of History, ed. 1874, pp. 438, 439. 

a Idea of a University, " Christianity and Scientific Investigation ". 

3 Of the numerous criticisms on Kant's theory of time and space 
perhaps to many the most welcome may be that of Mr. Bertrand 
Russell in his Principles of Mathematics, 1903. 


life, of sensation, of rational thought, all remain to 
mere natural investigation an impenetrable mystery. 
Again, in mathematical science the presence of 
truths seemingly irreconcilable have to be en- 
dured ; " the existence of an infinite number of 
curves, which are able to divide a space, into 
which no straight line, though it be length without 
breadth, can ever enter . . . (and) certain lines, 
which approach to each other continually with a 
finite distance between them, yet never meet". 1 
And every system of philosophy has its antinomies, 
its blind alleys, its crudities ; and must needs fill 
up the gaps of the argument with assumptions and 
postulates. 2 

We must learn then our limitations, must con- 
fess with sacred and profane writers that over- 
wisdom is folly, must be content with many a 
formula of definition which is not exact, but is 
some approximation to exactitude and sufficient 
for our purpose. To one integral subject, to one 
whole of which all the parts are correlative we 
direct our attention by means of sciences, which 
are partial views and give as their conclusion only 
abstractions which are true hypothetically and as 

1 Idea of a University, "Christianity and Scientific Investiga- 
tion ." Another pertinent example is to be found in the case of 
algebra, in the Grammar of Assent, chap, iv., § i. 

2 Tyrrell, Faith of the Millions, ii., p. 367. 



far as they go, but do not represent whole and 
substantive things, and need correction by other 
sciences. Their truths are not the whole truth, 
must not be made the measure of all things, lest 
we confuse probability with certainty, inchoate 
and subordinate processes with final conclusions, 
and be led into inexplicable difficulties. 

And when thus, for the sake of learning at least 
something, we have cut into fragments the unity 
of knowledge, the very energy with which we 
grasp one fragment lessens our hold on the others. 
For "any one study of whatever kind exclusively 
pursued deadens in the mind the interest, nay the 
perception of any other". All else appears dull 
and uncouth. To gaze intently for most of us is 
to concentrate our vision and to put aside a com- 
prehensive view. If we are to mark the very spot 
where the sun sets on the horizon, we cannot see 
the glow on the mountains behind us nor the 
measureless depths of the many-coloured heaven 
to the right and the left of us. 1 

Section XIX. 

And if in temporal things the intellect can 
rarely discern truth as a whole, still less in the 

'See many passages in the Idea of a University especially Dis- 
courses iii. and iv. and "A Form of Infidelity of the Day". 


relation of God and the soul ; inadequate views 
are all we can attain, not hitting the centre of 
truth but glancing aside to the right or the left ; 
conceptions only analogously true and not to be 
pressed too far as if they were adequate and close 
fitting. Analogies we must have ; for without 
figures of speech we cannot represent the timeless 
and spaceless ; and thus symbolism is the insepar- 
able companion of religion. 1 It is quite true then 
that we cannot affirm anything exactly in the 
same sense {univoce) of God and man. This 
would be to form for ourselves a Deity in human 
fashion in our own minds ; and though we attri- 
buted to it the sum of all our virtues and gave it 
of our very best, it would be human after all — an 
anthropomorphic God. But we must not run into 
the other extreme of an unknowable God, as 
though nothing could be affirmed in common of 
the Creator and the creature, unless we played 
with words and used them in a wholly different 
sense {cequivoce) in the two affirmations. We are 
caught in no dilemma between anthropomorphism 
and agnosticism. For we have a third choice, 
and in speaking both of God and of man we can 
make use of a common term, not indeed simply, 
but by analogy, metaphorically, imperfectly, ac- 

1 Tyrrell, Faith of the Millions, ii., pp. 49-54, 267. 


cording to the measure of our apprehension. And 
in this way precisely, between the extremes that 
we can know all or can know nothing, we reach the 
mean that we can know something, and a something 
that is sufficient, nay our all and our salvation. 1 

And not merely from the very nature of things, 
from the necessities of ontology, from the rule of 
right reason, are we constrained to admit that God 
is partly knowable and partly unknowable, seen 
as in a glass darkly, half veiled and half revealed ; 
but also from the needs of our moral nature, that 
we should live under the law of search and that 
He whom we worship should be a hidden God. 
Search is to be the law of earth and vision the 
law of heaven. It is God's will to be sought, the 
searching being our test. For He will be found 

1 This truth is taught with his accustomed brevity and sense 
by St. Thomas, especially in the first fourteen Quaestiones of the 
Summa Theologica ; and among many contemporary writers by none 
better than by Fr. George Tyrrell in many places scattered through 
his works, such as Lex Orandi, pp. 80-83, ar >d Faith of the Millions, i., 
chap. v. In Ruskin's earlier and better writings many of these 
truths are expressed, not perhaps with theological accuracy, but 
at least with beautiful imagery : " Our whole happiness and power 
of energetic action depend on our being able to breathe and live 
in the cloud; content to see it opening here and closing there; 
rejoicing to catch through the thinnest films of it glimpes of stable 
and substantial things ; but yet perceiving a nobleness even in 
the concealment, and rejoicing that a kindly veil is spread where 
the untempered light might have scorched us, or the infinite clear- 
ness wearied ". — Modern Painters, vol. v. 


by the diligent, humble, pure and awestricken 
seeker, but hidden from the eyes of pride and 
corruption. Therefore " He will neither over- 
whelm the minds of men with the oppression of 
His majesty, nor constrain their wills by the 
visible pageant of His justice". So "what hides 
Him most utterly from those who will not see 
Him, reveals Him most distinctly to those whose 
hearts are seeking Him". To these He is ever 
lifting the veil from His sanctuaries, filling their 
eyes with light and their hearts with sweetness. 
And love is the perpetual explanation of all except 
itself, how God can deign to seek man's love. For 
just as of old at the supreme moment when accord- 
ing to our feeble thoughts the need of disclosure 
was the greatest, the glory of Christianity was 
shrouded by the veil of an ignominious death, in 
the same manner continuous love perpetuates a 
continuous mystery. Even poor human love shares 
in some degree the mystical character and is above 
and beyond reason ; much more therefore the love 
between God and man. But our love of God is 
the essence of true religion and the summing up 
of all holiness ; so true religion must be mystical. 1 

'The latter part of this section is drawn from many passages 
in Faber's Blessed Sacrament. See also the two chapters, " What is 
Mysticism ? " and " True and False Mysticism," in Tyrrell's Faith 
of the Millions. 


Section XX. 

Although the Church of Christ is by her very- 
nature visible, is a city set on a hill, she is also in 
a sense hidden, and a city covered with a cloud. 
Her very claim to be the continuation of the life of 
Her Divine Founder, her history to be the mirror 
of the history of Christ to Whom she is mystically 
united as the spouse to the bridegroom, as the 
body to the head, involves a share in ignominy 
as well as in glory. From her very claim to be 
Divine she must be lit up indeed by Divine illu- 
mination, but also must be wrapped in the clouds 
and darkness that encompass the throne of the 
Most High. And though the cloud around the 
Church is partly the work of her enemies distort- 
ing her doctrines and calumniating her ministers, 
it comes mainly from her very nature, the con- 
tinuous witness of a Divine and therefore 
mysterious message. 

Hence it is no difficulty for the claims of the 
Christian Church, but a confirmation, when she 
appears involved in paradoxes : that we can under- 
stand Divine things and yet cannot understand ; 
that we are free yet foreknown ; that religion is 
mystical and yet rational ; that suffering is vicarious 
and yet responsibility personal ; that her teaching 


is the religion of sorrow and yet of joy ; that the 
Church exalts the claims of family life and yet 
makes them subordinate ; appears at once as a 
friend and a rival to the powers of the State. For 
she must follow her mission, and refuse to allow 
one aspect of her Divine message to exclude or 
obscure another. Thus " Christianity is dog- 
matical, devotional, practical all at once ; it is 
esoteric and exoteric ; it is indulgent and strict ; it 
is light and dark ; it is love and it is fear ". 1 

And these seeming notes of discord are only the 
prelude to the harmony of the golden mean. For 
Holy Church will lean neither to the right nor to 
the left ; neither to credulity that would make the 
actual coextensive with the possible ; nor on the 
other hand to scepticism that would refuse to 
extend the possible beyond what is known as 
actual ; 2 she rejects alike the false simplicity of 
quietism and the false reasoning of intellectualism ; 3 
is a mean between under-guidance of men and 
over-guidance ; is not merely external religion, or 
merely internal, but the due combination of both ; 
allows the alternation of epochs of expansion or 
assimilation and epochs of concentration or dog- 

1 Development of Christian Doctrine, chap, i., § I. 

2 Tyrrell, Faith of the Millions, ii., p. 245. 
8 Ibid., i., introd. 

U KEY to The World's progress 

matism ; of tranquil large-mindedness during 
peace, and again of uniform discipline during 
warfare ; : neither wholly accepts the ways of the 
world nor wholly refuses them, but, by a process 
of partial absorption and partial rejection, aims at 
the permeation by Christianity and continuous 
transformation of each ever-changing civilisation. 
Let us trace, as best we may, some rude sketches 
to exemplify her course, scattered outlines for 
others to connect and to fill in : awaiting the time 
when some writer worthy of the task shall gather 
all together, construct the Church Record as the 
World Record, and so far as the dim vision of 
man can reach, make the outlines of human history 

'Wilfrid Ward, Life of Wiseman, ii., p. 419. 



Section XXI. 

Not as any final classification, not as exhausting 
the list of the Christian antinomies, but as a pro- 
visional attempt to number and name the more 
conspicuous among them, I have singled out ten ; 
and with these the second part of this inquiry will 
be principally occupied. 

These ten antinomies are as follows : — 
i. The Church appears in opposition to intel- 
lectual civilisation and yet to foster it. 

2. The Church appears in opposition to material 
civilisation and yet to foster it. 

3. The Church represents a religion of sorrow 
and yet of gladness ; teaches a morality which is 
austere and yet joyful. 

4. The Church appears the opponent and yet 
the support of the State ; its rival and yet its ally. 

5. The Church upholds the equality of men and 

yet the inequality of property and power. 



6. The Church is full of scandals and yet all holy ; 
proclaims a law at once difficult and yet easy. 

7. The Church upholds and yet opposes religious 
freedom and liberty of conscience. 

8. The Church is one and yet Christendom has 
ever been divided. 

9. The Church is ever the same and yet ever 

10. The Church is ever being defeated and yet 
is ever victorious. 

Each of these ten antinomies deserves to itself 
a separate treatise wherein the historical details of 
the apparent contradiction would be set forth in 
fulness, and the historical sources diligently scrutin- 
ised, fairly appraised, clearly sorted and arranged 
for the benefit of scholars and students. But now 
to the present writer there falls a humbler task, to 
give a mere brief description, a mere popular out- 
line of these ten seeming contradictions, and to 
set forth the conclusion as it were by anticipation. 


Section XXII. 

We have counted as the first antinomy that the 
Church appears in opposition to intellectual civili- 
sation and yet to foster it. 

Here is a striking paradox ; the same Church 
charged with being a lover of darkness, fanatical, 
retrograde, seeing in the flesh nought but the 
devil, crushing the aspirations of man after the 
beautiful, chaining his thought, fearful of his 
science ; and yet praised as the saviour of learn- 
ing and literature, the constant promoter of study, 
the founder of universities, the inspirer and patron 
of the noblest examples of poetry and painting, 
sculpture and architecture. 

To reconcile this contradiction an historical 
theory had been framed that in the middle period 
the Church was indeed in her place and the 
great promoter of culture, but its enemy in the 



Graeco- Roman period that went before and in 
the times that came after. Now if we strictly 
limit the middle period to the time between the 
sixth and the eleventh century, this theory may 
perhaps indicate the truth that where there is 
great deficiency of culture the Church sedulously 
fosters it as did the Benedictine monks of those 
Dark Ages ; and that where culture falls into 
excess, as before and after, she restrains it. But 
such generalities tell us little ; and the explanatory 
theory by a grave historical blunder brackets to- 
gether the days of Alfred the Great and Richard 
Cceur de Lion under the common title of mediaeval, 1 
and is no help in understanding the relations of 
Christianity to culture in the days of Origen and 
Cyprian, or in the days of St. Augustine, or 
later in those of St. Dominic in the thirteenth 
century, of St. Charles Borromeo in the sixteenth, 
or in the second quarter of the nineteenth in the 
days of Gorres and Ozanam. 

Here as elsewhere Christianity is a mean 

1 If in literature we must separate " modern " from " mediaeval," 
the change is not at the "renaissance " but towards the close of 
the eleventh century. Modern verse is closely akin to the rhymes 
of France and Provence ; Chretien de Troyes and then Walther 
von der Vogelweide are part of " modern " literature ; and the gulf 
is not between Chaucer and Dr. Johnson, but between Chaucer 
and the author of Beowulf. — See W. P. Ker's two lucid volumes 
Epic and Romance, 1897, anc ^ The Dark Ages, 1904. 


between extremes, a synthesis between two ap- 
parent antitheses. 

Thus in one sense it is quite true that Christi- 
anity makes little of culture : mere dust in the 
balance compared with a virtuous life, and to be 
taken with due precaution lest it lead to the double 
evil of false doctrine and intellectual pride. 

Rude fishermen were the first preachers of the 
Gospel, and the most intellectual of the Apostles 
reiterates his warnings against intellectualism : not 
to be wise above measure but to embrace the 
folly of the cross instead of the wisdom of this 
world, that before God was foolishness ; God 
having chosen the foolish things of this world to 
confound the wise, and the weak to confound the 
strong, that no flesh should glory in His sight. 
And whereas worldly science puffeth up and phil- 
osophy can be emptiness and fallacy and vain 
pretence, it is the mission of Christianity to bring 
every intelligence as a captive to Christ, to Christ 
in whom are hidden all the treasures of true 
wisdom and true science. 

Fourteen hundred years later the doctrine of 
the Imitation repeats the same lesson : it is the 
virtuous life that matters, not the fair speeches of 
the " best thinkers " of our time ; or what avails 
to know by heart all the teachings of all philosophy 


and yet lack God's grace ? Check the craving for 
knowledge ; Noli alta sapere ; there is much that 
it is unprofitable to know, and woe to him who 
forgets that the more he knows, the holier the life 
he is bound to lead. If a man knew all the 
secrets of science, what would it be but the vain 
vision of a passing world ; let all the learned keep 
silence ; all else but to be united to God is as 
nothing — with God who in one brief moment can 
teach more than a long course of deepest study ; 
nor at the great assize shall we be asked what we 
have learnt, but how we have lived. 

Let another interval go by, and hear the same 
teaching re-echoed by the Master of the nineteenth 
century : The labours of the Church have not had 
for their purpose to spread abroad knowledge, or 
cultivate reason, but to avert sin and to save the 
souls of men, compared with which the value of 
the whole world is but as dust and ashes. For it 
is not things of time that she places first, but things 
of eternity ; and literature, science and art are 
things of time. 

The note of ignorance and illiteracy was in fact 
an early reproach. Peter and John were described 
before the council as illiterate men and of the 
lower sort. Celsus and other pagans derided the 
Christians as stupid and uneducated, ignorant and 


credulous, as women, servants, slaves, as collected 
from the dregs of the people ; and the Christian apo- 
logists confirm their general low level in the social 
and intellectual scale, a mixed unlettered multitude, 
yet lit by an inward vision that was hidden from 
the scornful eye of their cultivated adversaries. 

And so far from art and splendour being re- 
quisite, the externals and trappings of religion, 
whenever need be, are set aside ; the very 
vessels of the sanctuary are sold for the redemp- 
tion of captives, the very highest form of worship 
conducted, for fear of the persecutor, in cellars 
and caverns or wind-swept heaths or frozen wastes ; 
the sacraments administered amid the horrors of 
the battlefield or the squalor of the low quarters 
of a great city. 

For the fine arts no less than literature and 
science are bid keep in their place, recognise their 
subordinate position, that they are only one part 
of a mighty system, that whatever is good in them 
comes from above, and that for all their fairness 
they become imposture and corruption when made 
a minister to pride and sensuality. Better a 
crowded and devout congregation in a church 
constructed and adorned in violation of every rule 
of art, than a few cold worshippers in a faultless 
building amid masterpieces of adornment ; better 


having one eye to enter into the kingdom of 
heaven, than having two eyes to be cast into outer 

Section XXIII. 

Nevertheless the earth is the Lord's and the 
fulness thereof; the gifts of intellect are His gifts, 
their purpose His glory. Whatever was beautiful 
and seemly in pagan worship, as far as not insepar- 
ably connected with falsehood or sensuality, was 
gradually adopted by the Christian Church ; 
temples and altars and images and lights and 
incense and processions and votive offerings and 
sacerdotal vestments. Or were the enemies of 
Christianity to be left the monopoly of seemly 
worship, and the fair gifts of the Most High only 
to be used to His dishonour? Is not imagination 
the gift of the Author of nature, and the Author of 
nature the Author of the Church? Hence every 
kind of natural religious symbolism has been con- 
secrated to the service of truth, and the craving of 
man's natural emotions reasonably satisfied. Ex- 
tremes meet, and the spirit of the iconoclast or the 
puritan calls forth with its harsh note the sinister 
echoes of rebellion crying out that art is its own 
end, and of licentiousness crying out that the end 
of art is sensual gratification, and of pessimism, 
that art is the bloom of decay : so low we fall if we 


forget that of all that is beautiful God is the arche- 
type and the origin. 

Let us listen rather to another teacher, how the 
musical sounds of instrumental harmony are an 
outward and earthly form under which great 
wonders unknown seem to be typified. " There 
are seven notes in the scale ; make them fourteen ; 
yet what a slender outfit for so vast an enterprise ! 
What science brings so much out of so little? Out 
of what poor elements does some great master in it 
create his new world ? Shall we say that all this 
exuberant inventiveness is a mere ingenuity or 
trick of art like some game or fashion of the day 
without reality, without meaning?" Or "is it 
possible that that inexhaustible evolution and 
disposition of notes, so rich yet so simple, so 
intricate yet so regulated, so various yet so ma- 
jestic, should be a mere sound, which is gone and 
perishes ? Can it be that those mysterious stirrings 
of heart, and keen emotion, and strange yearnings 
after we know not what, and awful impressions 
from we know not whence, should be wrought in 
us by what is unsubstantial, and comes and goes, 
and begins and ends in itself? It is not so ; it 
cannot be. No ; they have escaped from some 
higher sphere ; they are the outpourings of eternal 
harmony in the medium of created sound ; they 


are echoes from our Home ; they are the voice of 
Angels, or the Magnificat of Saints, or the living 
laws of Divine Governance, or the Divine Attri- 
butes ; something are they besides themselves, 
which we cannot compass, which we cannot utter, 
— though mortal man, and he perhaps not other- 
wise distinguished above his fellows, has the gift of 
eliciting them". 1 

Hear again another writer, himself indeed, alas! 
an After-Christian, but raised by his very subject 
to the Christian level, where he tells us rightly how 
poetry transcends science, appealing to the some- 
thing more than one limited faculty. "It is not 
Linnseus or Cavendish or Cuvier who gives the 
true sense of animals, or water, or plants, who 
seizes their secrets for us, who makes us participate 
in their life ; it is Shakespeare with his 

That come before the swallow dares, and take 
The winds of March with beauty. 

It is Wordsworth with his 

voice . . . heard 
In springtime from the cuckoo-bird, 
Breaking the silence of the seas 
Among the farthest Hebrides." 2 

The exponents of physical science can describe 
with much accuracy the cosmic dust, the refraction 

1 Oxford University Sermons, Sermon xv. 

2 Matthew Arnold, Essays in Criticism, ed. 1865, p. 8. 


of light, the degrees of moisture, and other causes 
that make the sky what it is in the ruddy sunsets 
of a stormy summer ; or the forces that uphold 
the stone roof of a Gothic cathedral a hundred feet 
above our heads ; or the chemical analysis of the 
pigments of Raphael's Madonna degli Ansidei. 
But of the main thing they tell us nothing ; still 
less those who would explain in terms of material- 
istic psychology our appreciation of the beautiful 
as no more that visual, auditory, or motor sensa- 
tions, the mere awakening of pleasing emotions 
by an organic stimulus. For to those who have 
spiritual eyes to see and ears to hear, the beauty 
of nature and of art point heavenward ; through 
the medium of created form and colour we gain 
some glimpse of uncreated beauty ; the glow of 
crimson cloud and depths of golden light are a 
faint foreglance of the city that hath no need of 
sun or moon to light it, the soaring columns and 
fretted roof are to lead us upwards to the seven 
pillars of the Jerusalem that is on high ; to 
depict the human countenance divine, the highest 
achievement of earthly painting, though but a 
sketch on the walls of a prison house, is an effort 
after the unattainable beauty of glorified man. 1 

1 Perhaps among the moderns none has excelled the Norman 
peasant painter, Jean Francois Millet, in showing th/» pathos and 


Section XXIV. 

Now given this view of music and painting, of 
sculpture and architecture, of all that is beautiful 
in this world of sense, it is plain that these good 
things should be led captive to Christ ; that the 
best they could give should be at the service of 
Christian ritual ; their utmost efforts, the very- 
marbles and mosaics of Santa Sophia, 1 the very- 
choir of Beauvais, the very dome of St. Peter's, 
being all unworthy of the surpassing dignity of 
the Christian sacrifice. 

But once again let us beware of over-stepping 
the mean, of confounding good art and good 
life, of forgetting the manifold deficiencies which 
any genuine history of Christian art would have 
to unfold ; lest we invite the mockery of the un- 
believer who would bid us compare the sprawling 
angels of the rococo period with the sculptures of 
the Parthenon, or the clumsy front of St. Peter's 
with the Flavian amphitheatre. But this we can 
say, that Christianity having in common with most 

dignity of man in the humblest surroundings, a dignity which our 
own great painter Lord Leighton, in spite of marvellous technical 
perfection, failed to grasp, because it was the Hellenic ideal rather 
than the Christian that he painted. 

1 Well described by Mrs. Bury in her separate chapter on 
Byzantine Art inserted in vol. ii. of Prof. Bury's History of the 
L,ater Roman Empire, 


religions the encouragement of art, exceeds them 
in the greatness of its encouragement by the central 
doctrine of the bodily presence of the Divinity ; 
and exceeds them in the greatness of artistic in- 
spiration of which its sublime doctrines can be the 
occasion. Nor, if it puts restraint on the artist, is 
the restraint other than a wise guard against abuse ; 
unlike Mahomet's polygamous Methodism : that is 
fatal to all but the lowest forms of painting and 
sculpture because it forbids us to represent the 
human form or any natural substance such as fruit 
or flowers. But then the Church herself can 
neither create art nor hinder its decline, like the 
decline of Gothic from the glory of Lincoln 
Minster to the ignominy of Bath Abbey, or the 
change from the manifold graces of the early 
renaissance to the graceless piles that laid a 
heavy load on Europe for 200 years, or from the 
art of Mantegna and Luini to the square miles of 
roof and wall covered with tasteless mediocrity. 

Indeed the course of art and literature remains 
inexplicable ; we can indeed trace the change from 
rude and simple art to art well-trained in the 
technique of drawing and colouring, just as we can 
trace the change from naive and heroic literature 
to conventional and civilised. But the first step 

Jfo borrow Prof. Ker's illuminating phrase, The Dark Ages, p. 1^. 


accomplished, we seem unable to go further and 
trace any causes except the obvious and negative 
generalisation that art cannot bloom amid wide- 
spread anarchy and poverty. More than this we 
can scarcely affirm ; and we must be content with 
registering the annals of art rather than attempting 
to write its history. There is no standing, as in 
physical and historical science, on the shoulders 
of those who have gone before us. The spirit of 
art bloweth where it listeth, and none can say why 
or for how long. Why was Venice so conspicu- 
ously its home, and the kindred republic of Genoa 
as a stranger's house? How account for the 
uprising of Gothic architecture in Northern France 
and reaching in a few years its highest pinnacle of 
glory ; or centuries later the succession in Germany 
of unrivalled musicians. 1 Again, in the very ages 
when the architecture of Europe lay low, a bloom 
of beauty was being spread over the vast area of 
Spanish America. The traveller stands entranced 
at the sanctuary of Esquipulas raised on a plat- 
form in the open country with four great towers 
and central dome all of dazzling white, built in 
mid-eighteenth century ; or at the blue-tiled dome 
and red stone campanile of the cathedral of 
Zacatecas, and the many other glories of Spanish 

1 See Lord Leighton's Addresses, London, 1896. 


American art of the sixteenth and seventeenth 
centuries. 1 

But this is no history oi art ; enough that the 
Christian Church wherever her influence is strong, 
is a perpetual incitement to the artist without 
indeed giving any guarantee for his success, and 
is a perpetual framework ready at hand for 
artistic adornment. 

Section XXV. 

Let us turn to another department of culture, 
so far as the works of intellect can be separated 
from those of emotion and imagination, and the 
field of philosophy from that of art. 

The intellectual truths scattered in Fore- 
Christian religions and philosophies were gathered 
up one by one into Christian theology. The 
Church has ever been "sitting in the midst of the 
doctors, both hearing and asking them questions ; 
claiming to herself what they said rightly, correct- 
ing their errors, supplying their defects, completing 
their beginnings, expanding their surmises, and thus 
gradually by means of them enlarging the range 

1 A curious parallel to the ignorance among the "educated" 
classes concerning the " Middle Ages " when Hallam's work was 
first published, is the ignorance now concerning the vast empire 
of Spain in North and South America for 300 years, an empire 
not lost till the After-Christian spirit had seized on the ruling 
classes of Old Spain, 


and refining the sense of her teaching ". 1 And 
just as the very affinities of Catholic worship to 
pagan rites are a witness to its fitness, so also the 
very affinities to pagan mythology are a witness to 
the truth of the Catholic doctrine of heavenly 
mediators, a doctrine which corrects what was 
previously imperfect, and points to the substantial 
unity of the human mind fitted by nature for 
theism. 2 

Hence the Church has gathered in, from age to 
age, the harvest of a hundred philosophies ; and 
those who seemed most antagonistic she has forced, 
when the due time came, to yield up for her service 
the good that was in them. Thus " the theology 
of St. Thomas, nay of the Church of his period, is 
built on that very Aristotelianism which the early 
Fathers denounce as the source of all misbelief, 
and in particular of the Arian and Monophysite 
heresies ". 3 An excellent historian 4 has traced 

1 See the whole luminous passage Development of Christian 
Doctrine, chap viii., ad fin. 

2 Tyrrell, Faith of the Millions, ii., pp. 270, 275. 

3 Development of Christian Doctrine, chap, xii., § 8. Some details 
can be found in Mr. Wilfrid Ward's Witnesses to the Unseen, 
pp. 86-90. 

■•Willmann, Geschichte des Idealismus, vol. ii., 1896, especially 
the chapters on " Refounding of Philosophy by Christianity," 
"Christian Idealism linked to that of Antiquity," and "St. 
Augustine ", 


how the philosophy of the Fore-Christians was 
founded anew by Christianity ; their confused 
longings fulfilled, and their partial view made 
complete. Thus by the recognition of the holy 
will of a Personal God, a sure foundation was 
reached for understanding the double truth that 
the world was created, and that man was subject 
to moral law. Thus the notions of God and Self 
and the Cosmos were no longer mingled in con- 
fusion ; for though God was in the world He was 
above the world (transcendent as well as im- 
manent) ; and though man was of the earth, 
natural and transitory, he was also of heaven, 
supernatural and eternal. Thus man was raised 
out of the realm of mere appearances, of shallow 
grubbing on the surface of things ; he was raised 
out of himself beyond the narrow circling around 
his own personality ; and he entered a realm of 
mysticism, aiming at intimate union with an in- 
dwelling God (immanent in His creatures) and at 
some participation in the Divine nature ; yet ever 
held in check by the Divine law and the transcend- 
ent majesty of the Creator ; so that the fountains 
of self-deceit were stopped up, and man could not 
become a law to himself, his own master, nay his 
own God, self-centred, self-complete (reducing 
science to autosophy and action to autonomy), 


but rather was to know by believing and to reign 
by serving. 

This balanced mind, this clear vision of inno- 
cence, this golden mean of Christian teaching, 
made it possible to do what Plato and Aristotle 
had not succeeded in doing, to place theology and 
philosophy in right relation, to make philosophy 
by stooping to be a handmaid {ancilla theologies), 
rise supreme over all the other sciences, itself the 
sovereign science, the harmony of all, the preserver 
of the unity of all knowledge ; and the nearest 
approach, ere we pass ex umbris et imaginibus in 
veritatem, to the restful vision of the entire truth. 1 

So it became possible for Christianity to make 
a fearless appropriation of Fore-Christian philo- 
sophy. The salt was at hand wherewith all could 
be savoured ; and the adoption of Platonic termin- 
ology by the Fathers of the Church could be 
done with the utmost freedom, precisely because 
they knew where Plato as the voice of God-given 
reason became silent, and Plato as the voice of 
erring man began to speak. The possession of a 
criterion of truth and error gave the same freedom 

1 See especially the third Discourse in the Idea of a University. 
Had these discourses been familiar to Dr. Flint, a great advantage 
would have accrued to his instructive essay on "Philosophy as 
Scientia Scientiarium" prefixed to his History of Classifications of 
the Sciences, 190^. 


to adopt Aristotelian language in the days of Scho- 
lasticism ; and gives the same security in our own 
time ; so that when a specious subjectivism bids us 
reject all certitude, hold fast to nothing, shrink from 
putting any limit to the intellectual progress of 
humanity, admit a ceaseless self-making self-evolv- 
ing world, and soul, and God : Christian theology 
says, No ; for we have tried whether your philo- 
sophy can express the truths of Holy Faith, we 
have tested it by the unfailing touchstone in our 
hands, and have found it wanting. 1 

Section XXVI. 

Indeed in philosophy as elsewhere it is ever the 
golden mean proclaimed by the genuine voice of 
Christianity. The claims of explicit reasoning, of 
criticism and argumentation, are not rejected, only 
put in their proper place as part of a whole, an 
assistant towards attaining the truth and an ex- 
cellent negative test, but not the supreme teacher. 
We must recognise that faith and tradition and 
unconscious inference are also our informants ; 
that we are not self-sufficing in regard to know- 
ledge, but must cling to others, accept their witness 
and authority, admit in many things the consensus 
kumani generis, nay that the vox populi is the vox 

1 Cf. Lagrange, La Methode historique, ed. 1904, p. 34. 


Dei, or perish in our wilful individualism. 1 But then 
testimony is not everything ; and if rationalism is 
an exaggeration on one side, so is traditionalism 
on the other. To say we can adequately express 
in words all valid inferences, is to fall from our 
middle way, as though there were not many of 
the most valuable of them and most practical, nay 
the very principles of reason and morality, too 
subtle or too obscure or too complex for state- 
ment. But we fall equally on a different side, if 
we scoff at logic, deny the validity of words, or the 
use of definitions, and reduce science, sacred and 
profane alike, to a condition of mist. 

Similarly the Church keeps the golden mean 
between the materialism that will not recognise 
the higher and spiritual side of man, and a mis- 
called idealism that is so enamoured of the higher 
side as to ignore the reality of the lower ; 2 she 
will not allow the crude realism (like that of 
Tertullian) which confuses the corporal with the 
real ; nor again the nominalism which transmutes 
all super-sensual things into mental products, merely 
distinguished by the name ; rather she chooses the 
middle course and unites a true idealism with a 
true realism. Indeed from the time of St. Augus- 

1 Faith of the Millions, ii., chaps, ii. and ix. 
''Ibid., chaps, xx. and xxiii. 

The church and culture qs 

tine, the central figure in history, who was the 
heir of all ancient wisdom, the starting point of 
all new, the Church has handed down with un- 
broken continuity a philosophia perennis x ever 
growing more comprehensive and gaining force 
from every controversy, those yielding perhaps 
the greatest contribution who have been in ap- 
pearance, from Porphyry to Kant, her greatest 

Section XXVII. 

And thus we must expect an intellectual conflict 
between the Church and the world. The intel- 
lectual position known as the spirit of the age 
(der Zeitgeisf) incessantly varying with the age, 
displays amid many variables one constant char- 
acter of opposition to the Church. This is to be 
expected, because contemporary science and the 
fashions of the day are inevitably defective and 
distorted ; not wholly wrong, but mingling to- 
gether extravagance and good sense, and present- 
ing a teaching that cannot claim our assent, till 
the dross be separated from the gold. This is 
done by degrees, and then, after having moulded, 
leavened, checked, and corrected the new ways of 
science or life, the Church adopts in tranquillity 
and assimilates what at last has been proved to 

'This is the main thesis of Willmann's. Geschichte des Idealismus 


be sound theory and wholesome practice. Only 
this tardy Concordat is no bar to a similar conflict 
beginning over again. We smile now at the 
thought that the study of Greek literature, and 
Homer in particular, could seriously imperil the 
Christian faith ; we are in no danger of being so 
impressed by the majestic structure of the Roman 
Law as to think it an oracle of heaven and give 
the name of priests to its lawyers ; we no longer 
hold it of vital importance to eschew Gothic bar- 
barism, to write Ciceronian Latin, and to conform 
our lives to an imaginary picture of Roman or 
Greek civilisation ; we are little touched by the 
eighteenth century repugnance to enthusiasm ; 
indeed think little worth having, that fails to 
enkindle it ; even the ideals of our own fathers 
set forth in the political and economic liberalism 
of barely fifty years^go, appear to us empty and 
unreal ; yet in the fourth century, in the twelfth, 
in the fifteenth, in the eighteenth, in the nineteenth, 
the Church had to face these overmastering views 
of learning and living, and mould them to her 
purposes. And are we to expect our own time 
to be without its favourite notions, its shibboleths, 
its presuppositions, its exaggerations, its distortion 
of the relative magnitudes of truths and duties? 
The more completely we are the children of our 

1 This was written in 1906. 


own age the more behind the age will the Church 
appear; yet might equally be called before the 
age, which is but a transitory phase of human 
thought and imagination encompassed by a more 
than human society that is eternal. 

How pitiable then the lack of knowledge, how 
gross the self-deception of those who take occasion 
of this chronic discord between the Church and 
the world to make shipwreck of their faith. In- 
stead of possessing their souls in peace, instead of 
knowing when it is the time to wait and be silent, 
they press forward sword in hand for an instant 
solution, demand an immediate triumph, cannot 
suffer with Christ or endure the appearance of 
uncertainty and defeat. And as the Church fails 
to support them, they must needs reform the 
Church who in her essence is irreformable ; and 
forgetting that the first reform must be within 
themselves, they raise, all laden with their infirm- 
ities, the standard of revolt ; and because they 
cannot see the immediate solution of some anti- 
nomy, they leave the realm of tempered light for 
the realm that is for ever darkened by irreconcil- 
able contradictions. 1 

1 See the essay on " Unchanging Dogma and Changeful Man " in 
Wilfrid Ward's Problems and Persons, 1903 ; also Tyrrell's Faith of 
the Millions, pp. 8o, 81 ; and Hard Sayings, pp. 365, 368. 



Section XXVIII. 

We have counted as the second antinomy that 
the Church appears in opposition to material 
civilisation and yet to foster it. 

In the solemn ritual of Christian baptism the 
catechumen, about to be baptised, is asked what 
he seeks from the Church of God ; and answering, 
"faith," he is asked further what he will gain by 
faith ; whereupon he answers " life everlasting ". 
He professes no expectation that the great sacra- 
ment he is to receive is to be for the benefit of his 
temporal life ; at certain times and places manifold 
damage to that life, and even the total loss of it, 
were not improbable consequences of his act ; and 
at all times he was pledged to the renunciation of 
no small part of it known as the pomps and works 
of the Evil One. His eyes were not to be opened 
to new methods of enrichment, new rules of health, 

new refinements of enjoyment, but wandering in 

9 8 


the night time of this present world the eyes of 
his heart were to be opened to recognise the triune 
and eternal Creator, and to walk in the ways of 
truth. Moreover, in the solemn exorcisms, one 
after another, the truth is reiterated, so alien to 
the dreams of earthly empire and worldly aggran- 
disement, that the end is surely coming when 
humanity will perish and the earth be judged by 

Truly it seems but scant encouragement to 
build up a great empire, when the empire, as 
surely as each single citizen, is doomed to death ; 
and when the Christian teachers from age to age 
have uttered their warning of vanitas vanitatum, 
have taught us that the schemes of mighty kings 
are but as the sports of children, and have put as 
the test of importance the unrelenting question : 
Quid hoc ad ceternitatem ? Or how can we adorn 
and cultivate the earth or make the desert flourish 
like the slopes of Lebanon or the rose gardens of 
Jericho, when we remember the end, and the 
words of the prophet, the earth as a garden of 
pleasure before the devouring flames, and after 
them as the dread solitude of the wilderness ? 

And the spirit of the Christian Church has re- 
mained persistent, ever seeming to make light of 
worldly prosperity, and to be set up in contradic- 



tion to the philosophy and practice of the world. 
The whole mighty structure of the Church, through 
so many ages, has had one primary end, the indi- 
vidual soul. It is not nations and their temporal 
prosperity, but souls and their eternal salvation, 
that are her concern, and for whom all things else 
must be sacrificed. And this being her errand, to 
heal from inward and spiritual wounds, to protect 
from a supernatural foe, to lead to a supernatural 
end these individuals committed to her charge ; all 
else in comparison must be disregarded. 1 

And her purpose being to reconcile and unite 
the soul with its Maker, it follows that her stand- 
ard for judging the relative importance of various 
virtues and vices is very different from that of the 
world ; of the world that makes the immediate 
bearing on temporal prosperity the standard, and 
thus abhors external acts of violence, but pays no 
regard to what is internal, whether a man has 
committed murder or adultery in his heart ; 
whereas it is the heart of which the Church takes 
note, whether full or empty of faith, of purity, of 
charity ; nor reckons the homicidal act of a sudden 
outburst of passion so grave as the inward malice 
which daily wishes a rival's death. Hence, for 
what are called the failures of society, weaklings, 

1 See Lecture viii. of Anglican Difficulties. 


outcasts, criminals, she has ever shown a singular 
tenderness, inasmuch as for them, no less than 
for the orderly and prosperous, flowed the well- 
springs of Calvary. 

Thus driven on by her over-mastering prin- 
ciples the Church incurs the reproach of fostering 
poverty, beggary and improvidence ; it is a 
plausible reproach ; nay from Gospel days to our 
own we see again and again how the children of 
this world are wiser in their generation than the 
children of light. 

Section XXIX. 

Nevertheless this very Church that makes so 
light of this world, of all the kingdoms thereof 
and their glory, is their very pillar and prop ; and 
without professing to advance material civilisation 
becomes indirectly its powerful promoter. And 
this chiefly in three ways. 

First by the very appeal to men to follow ideals 
more lofty than those that the vain vision of this 
world can offer, and by the plain spoken condem- 
nation of covetousness as one of the seven deadly 
sins, the Christian teaching puts a drag on the 
unscrupulous greed (the Greek ir'Keove^la) that 
grasps at its own present enrichment, all reckless 
of how the wealth may be won, all reckless of 


the consequences of that winning. The careful 
husbanding of the sources of wealth, the far-seeing 
and orderly development of national resources, 
the far-seeing and humane treatment of the poorer 
classes, are in contradiction to the heedless pursuit 
of wealth that fells forests without replanting, ex- 
tracts from the soil its elements of fertility without 
replacing them, empties fisheries without restock- 
ing them, exhausts mines without providing for 
the day of exhaustion, seizes on the labour of the 
young and of women without regarding the future 
provision of a healthy race, forces even adults and 
males to unhealthy overwork, displays immense 
energy, talent and time in the barren task of 
over-reaching others, and making gain from their 
loss. And the wealth thus ill earned is not spent 
for the most part in that rational consumption that 
ministers to right living (the Aristotelian to ev Ity) ; 
but rather is written down in the books of the higher 
statistics as a negative acquisition, and is speedily 
dissipated in senseless display or wasteful sensuality. 
But the Church is ever at work checking this 
wasteful production, checking this wasteful con- 
sumption, checking the social discord and social 
hatred that they engender, and thus is the very 
salt of the body politic, an antiseptic against 
threatening corruption and dissolution. 


Section XXX. 
Secondly, the Church having emphatically 
taught the dignity and duty of labour, has supplied 
a stronger motive for honest daily toil than dread 
of the lash or the prison house. To effect this 
rehabilitation of labour 1 example has been added 
to teaching : the example first of all of Him who 
was blacksmith and carpenter, the son (as Celsus 
says in derision) of a poor workwoman {pauper- 
culce operariceque matris) with workmen as dis- 
ciples ; then the example of St. Paul practising 
as well as preaching manual labour ; the example 
of those of high birth, like St. Crispinianus, practis- 
ing a servile trade ; of noble matrons working 
diligently at home ; of the monks of Palestine and 
Egypt, men of high position among them, exercis- 
ing a multitude of trades, self-supporting though 
tens of thousand in number, nay sending forth 
supplies to regions stricken with famine ; of the 
monks of St. Basil in whose rule was conspicuous 
the duty of labour, and in whom the old Roman 
vigour, the improbus labor of the days of Cincin- 
nati or Regulus, seemed renewed. Then later 
in the West, where the indolent barbarians, almost 

1 Paul Allard's Les Bsclaves Chretiens remains an excellent 
account of this, though the first edition was published as early as 


as much as the slave-stricken society of the 
Empire, needed a living example of voluntary 
work, the Benedictine monks gave them the 
example : the overabundant forests of the northern 
plain cleared, marshes drained, dry land irrigated, 
cultivation extended, many new crops and fruits 
acclimatised, bridges and roads built, refuges for 
travellers set on desert ways by these pious hands, 
to say nothing of the salvage of Greek and Latin 
literature, that threatened to disappear as Baby- 
lonian and Phoenician had disappeared before them, 
but were saved by the Church and monasticism. 1 
Moreover in the eleventh century, the en- 
thusiastic movement in favour of order and 
peace that arose in Aquitaine under the name of 
the Peace of God, and spread through Western 
Europe, was encouraged, propagated and enforced 
by the clergy, and as regulated and made practical 
in 1 04 1, established a truce (Treuga Dei) for all 
combatants from Wednesday at sunset to Monday 
at sunrise, besides a permanent peace for the un- 
armed clergy, merchants, pilgrims, women and 
peasants. Even the imperfect observation of this 
truce and peace was a great help to material 

1 On this intellectual rescue see the fascinating work of Hart- 
mann Grisar, Geschichte Roms und der Pdpste, vol. i., 1901, especially 
numbers 343 and 454. 


civilisation ; and the salutary principle of protect- 
ing the cultivator of the soil, and shielding the 
peasantry, the women and the children, was 
continued by the religious institution of chivalry. 

The work of transforming desert and marsh 
into fruitful field and flowery meadow was 
continued by the Cistercians (an offshoot of 
the Benedictines), and later in the seventeenth 
century by the Trappists ; nay to this day the 
same work may be seen accomplished in many 
parts of the world, as South Africa and Western 
Australia ; and the full benefit of monastic tenure 
can be gauged a little by the desolation that 
has followed its destruction, the hillsides stripped 
of their protecting forests, the water let loose in 
the valleys, the fair gardens choked with weeds, 
the numerous inhabitants, that had gathered round 
the homes of religion, forced to choose between 
starvation and flight ; waste seen for example in 
England in the reign of Edward VI., in the plains 
watered by the South American Parana in the 
reign of Charles III. of Spain, in the valleys of 
California under the early Mexican Republic, in 
the hapless province of Basilicata in Italy of to-day. 

It seems then, after all, that even material 
civilisation has a friend in Christian teaching ; 
and that those who use the earth as though they 


used it not, who daily proclaim that it will perish 
as grass cast into the oven, yet because they treat 
it with reverence and restraint, because they re- 
cognise more than meets the senses in its crystal 
streams, fair flowers, fragrant woods, singing birds, 
green meadows and fruitful fields, would not have 
the work of God's hands recklessly defaced by 
man's work ; but rather adorned to the utmost as 
being not merely a Divine work but the very 
guest-chamber of the Divinity — it is men such as 
these who use the earth to the best ultimate 
advantage. 1 

And thus the chosen people have gathered once 
more the spoils of the Egyptians. For the most 
graceful and salutary of Fore-Christian supersti- 
tions, how the woods and waters were peopled 
with divinities and were to be secured from reck- 
less profanation, and reverence to be given to our 

'An exaggeration of this truth was taught in the sixties by 
Charles P6rin, Professor of Political Economy at the University 
of Louvain, author of La Richesse dans les societes chretiennes. He 
was right in emphasising (bk. i., chap, iv.) the fact that the life 
of Christian people was full of apparent contradictions ; but over- 
stated his case in many of his propositions, e.g., " c'est le m6pris 
des richesses qui engendre la richesse ". Still remember he lived 
in the days when Political Economy taught ex cathedra a number 
of "scientific truths" now relegated to the lumber heap; and 
living under the spell of those illusions P6rin's half-truths on 
"abstinence" and "population" are more meritorious than the 
easier whole truths of those who live when the spell has been 


sacred Mother Earth, beliefs in themselves allied 
with polytheism or pantheism ; and perhaps also 
the geomantic superstition called Feng-shui amid 
the multitudinous Chinese, with the similar effect 
of orderly restraint — these are but the distorted 
realisations or imperfect anticipations of Christian 

Section XXXI. 

And in a third way, in her teaching on family 
life, the Christian Church is a powerful support 
of material civilisation. For the family is the very 
prop of that civilisation ; where it is weak and lax, 
civilisation is parasitic and precarious ; but where it 
is strong, great nations have rested on its strength. 
And just as superstition has been accidentally or 
rather providentially beneficial by teaching rever- 
ence for the earth, so the doctrine of ancestor 
worship in its many historical forms has been 
beneficial by teaching family reverence, and though 
false, is a thousand times truer than the imagined 
enlightenment of the After-Christian family. So 
among the Romans of the regal times and the 
Greeks of the Homeric age, venerating the spirits 
of their ancestors and the private gods of the 
house ; so also among the ancient Egyptians ; so 
again to this day in its elaboration among millions 


of Hindus ; as a powerful force among the Japanese^ 
and all-pervading among the Chinese. 

But the Christian Church, the sublime vessel of 
all truth, cannot rest on any illusion however grace- 
ful or practical, and her teaching on family life once 
again keeps the golden mean between excess and 
defect in the strictness of the bonds of kinship ; 
forbidding worship but enjoining reverence ; hostile 
to the total subjection but also to the total inde- 
pendence of women ; rejecting the right of parents 
to force or forbid the marriage of their children, 
but also maintaining the right of parents to educate 
their children and control their youth ; regarding 
marriage as the providential state for the great 
mass of men and women ; confirming it as mono- 
gamous, indissoluble and religious ; exalting it as 
a Christian Sacrament overflowing with super- 
natural graces and bearing a mystical significance ; 
and yet exalting celibacy still more, as the 
providential state for the few who were to be 
united in a higher and more than earthly union, 
and were to form while on earth the vanguard of 
continence, and by the example of this celestial 
life to protect the terrestial family from all inroads 
of corruption. 

The essentials of Christian family life being 
kept intact, the accidental and accessory parts 


might vary and have varied according to times 
and places, national peculiarities, conditions of 
civilisation ; such accidentals for example as the 
legal rules of succession to property at death, the 
father's power to dispose of property during his 
life-time, the rights of children over their separate 
earnings, whether brothers dwell united in joint 
families or are scattered in separate establish- 
ments, and the strength or laxity of the tie be- 
tween remoter relatives. Such accidentals have 
varied, but not the fundamental relations of 
husband and wife, parent and child ; and nations 
that rest on that foundation have within them- 
selves in spite of external calamities an ever- 
renewed fountain of recovery. 

Thus the Church accused of being " other- 
worldly" or weltfliichtig, and the opponent of 
material civilisation, is seen by those who look 
below the surface, to be of that civilisation the 
surest guarantee. 



Section XXXII. 

We have counted as the third antinomy, that the 
Church represents a religion of sorrow and yet of 
gladness ; teaches a morality which is austere and 
yet joyful. 

Of the austerity taught from the very beginning 
of Christianity, there is no manner of doubt, nor 
of the moral impossibility of unaided obedience to 
the Christian law. The pride of man is rudely 
confronted with the humiliating confession of his 
own impotence and guilt; "any standard of duty 
which does not convict him of real and multiplied 
sins, and of incapacity to please God of his own 
strength, is untrue ; and any rule of life, which 
leaves him contented with himself, without fear, 
without anxiety, without humiliation, is deceptive ; 
it is the blind leading the blind ". So the confes- 
sion of sin enters into the highest saintliness ; and 
while the self-complacency of man is an abomina- 


tion before God, self-prostration is the very badge 
and token of his servants. The saints of Christ, 
one and all, the young and unspotted, the aged 
and most mature, he who has sinned least, he who 
has repented most, the fresh innocent brow, and 
the hoary head, they unite in this one litany ; "O 
God be merciful to me a sinner ". Nor can they 
escape from their conclusion precisely because 
each advance in Divine love has brought them a 
clearer vision of the All- Holy, All- Beautiful, All- 
Perfect One, and the contrast with themselves 
makes them sink into the earth with self-contempt 
and self-abhorrence. 1 

Moreover we find that the tremendous truths 
proclaimed by Christianity exact a corresponding 
high standard of duty. The Christian is called 
upon to fight daily against the world, the flesh and 
the devil ; to deny himself ; to take up his cross 
and follow Christ ; and is warned that only through 
many tribulations can he enter the kingdom of 

Nor are these teachings left as vague generalities. 
The strongest passions of man are to be kept under 
rigid control ; the very hidden thoughts of his 
heart, even for these he is held responsible no less 
than for the outward deed. Not the smallest in- 

> Occasional Sermons, Sermon ii. 


dulgence is granted in the relation of the sexes 
to youthful frailty ; and outside the indissoluble 
marriage tie, an absolute chastity is inflexibly 
upheld. 1 The man in the stress and strain of 
middle life, with envious rivals, interested calumni- 
ators, unpitying foes around him, is forbidden even 
to wish them evil. The old man resting after a life 
of honest toil, and enjoying his well-earned riches, 
is not left in tranquillity ; but warned of his pressing 
responsibilities, that his position is perilous but 
for abundant deeds of mercy, and that if he set 
his heart on his riches and his honours they will 
assuredly, for all their honest earning, drag him 
down to perdition. And the deeds have followed 
the doctrine ; asceticism, mortification in a hundred 
forms, of body and of desire, fasting and watching, 
and long prayers, and long silence, and taming the 
flesh and breaking the will, and self-sought humili- 
ation, from the days of the great ascetic St. Paul 
the Apostle in the first century to the days of his 
namesake St. Paul of the Cross in the eighteenth, 
nay in the Church to this day and this hour. 

'For example, in Japan it was the moral difficulty that in the 
sixteenth century was the great obstacle to conversion. A con- 
temporary tells how the Jesuit Fathers were begged in vain to 
relax the rigour of the Sixth Commandment and thus gain a 
harvest of conversions. See H. Thurston in The Month, March, 
1905, PP- 3°4. 3°5- 


Section XXXIII. 

Shall we then exclaim : O intolerable burden ! 
O pitiful self-delusion ! O grievous yoke of super- 
stition ! the bright world made dark, the gaiety of 
life turned to sorrow, man's freedom to servitude ? 
So appears the Christian religion to many of this 
generation, just as it appeared to many before 
them ; and not Christianity only, but the fore- 
courts of Christianity in the Old Law, and even 
all religion to the unbelieving heart. 

Thus we read in the second chapter of the Book 
of Wisdom, written in the days of great material 
civilisation, exhortations to pleasure that might be 
taken from the pages of many modern heralds of 
revolt. "Come therefore and let us enjoy the 
good things that are present and let us speedily 
use the creatures as in youth. Let us fill ourselves 
with costly wine and ointments : and let not the 
flower of the time pass by us. Let us crown our- 
selves with roses before they be withered ; let no 
meadow escape our riot." And as a God-fearing 
life was a tacit condemnation of the godless, such 
life was not to be permitted ; being in fact a public 
annoyance and offence, to which no reasonable 
man could extend toleration. " Let us therefore 
lie in wait for the just, because he is not for our 
turn, and he is contrary to our doings, and up- 


braideth us with transgressions of the law, and 
divulgeth against us the sins of our way of life. 
He boasteth that he has the knowledge of God, 
and calleth himself the son of God. He is become 
a censurer of our thoughts. He is grievous unto us, 
even to behold ; for his life is not like other men's." 

Thus again Lucretius makes use of the ex- 
quisite medium of his poetry to express his loath- 
ing and hatred towards the doctrine of stern duty, 
of strict responsibility, of dread liability to sin ; 
and as a happy contrast to the heavy yoke of 
religion, shows us the easy rule of Alma Venus. 
And if his view of religion was the true one, it 
would indeed be the work of every generous mind 
to extirpate this joy-killing pestilence, to judge 
Christianity, in the manner of Tacitus, as an ex- 
itiabilis superstitio, guilty of hatred of the human 
race, and to repeat with Voltaire, ecrasez Cinfdme. 

Indeed the Roman Empire in the height of its 
power tried to crush this unworldly religion that 
from the Roman standpoint of worldly wisdom 
appeared as criminal madness. And though the 
great persecution failed, the spirit of the godless 
world survived ; and its aims and views have been 
summed up for us by St. Augustine, just as the 
great empire of law and order, of material and 
intellectual civilisation, which gave to the world's 


votaries all that for them made life worth living, 
was crumbling away. 

What sort of commonwealth, he asks, did those 
wish who accused Christianity of the public ruin ? 
There must be all good things in abundance, vic- 
tory in war, or better still, a well-established peace. 
Let the rich and powerful daily grow in their 
riches and power, in order to meet the daily 
expenses needed to bind the weak to their service. 
Among freemen the poor 1 must serve the rich, 
in order to enjoy food in abundance and an 
easy quiet life under exalted patronage ; while 
the rich will make use of the poor freemen to be 
their convenient dependants and serve as adjuncts 
to their patron's splendour. Let the common- 
wealth applaud those who provide, not forsooth 
for the intangible public welfare, but for the 
tangible public pleasures. Nothing is to be en- 
forced or forbidden on the plea of public morality : 
and the law is simply to look at damage to an- 
other's property or person or health or enjoyment ; 
but otherwise everyone is to be wholly free to do 
as it pleases him with his own property and his 
own slaves, and even with the free as it pleases 
him, provided they on their part are willing. Let 

1 " Poor whites " or " mean whites " is perhaps the best transla- 
tion as opposed to "natives" or "coloured people." 



there be abundant provision of public prostitutes 
for the especial benefit of those who cannot afford 
such pleasures in their own private establishments. 
Let the finest houses be built and nobly furnished, 
and within them let men eat and drink and play to 
their hearts' content, just as they please, day and 
night. Let the professional buffoons and dancers 
be everywhere, and the theatres be filled with the 
applause of indecent merriment and every variety 
of the most savage or most filthy pleasure. Let 
him be reckoned a public enemy to whom such a 
state of happiness is displeasing ; and whoso at- 
tempts to change or to remove it, close his mouth, 
drive him from his place, put an end to his life. 
And let those be true gods who take measures to 
provide this state of happiness for the people and 
make it lasting : to them and theirs be all the 
worship and all the forms of it they may wish : if 
only they will make sure that nothing is to be 
feared from war or from pestilence or from any 
other calamity, to mar the enjoyment of this 
Sardanapalan felicity. 1 

Section XXXIV. 

It is written in the pages of history how this 
felicity was marred, and marred speedily : the 

1 De civitate Dei, bk. ii., chap. xx. 


sumptuous palaces overthrown, the exquisite furni- 
ture in ashes, the ministers of pleasure dispersed 
or dead, the theatres and amphitheatres a dismal 
solitude ; the civilisation dying away ; the joys of 
it gone ; and yet the religion of shame and sorrow 
living on, as though it had some principle of 
vitality lacking to the mighty world that was its 
foe. How was this ? Or was it possible that the 
ascetics who crowded round the tombs of the 
martyrs were right after all, and He right who 
uttered the Beatitudes ? 

To such questionings the Christian can answer 
that for those who look closely, the religion of the 
cross is at the same time, and by virtue of that 
very cross, the religion of gladness ; and again 
that the very joys of the old pagan world, and the 
analogous joys of the great centres of the modern 
world, require as the cost of their production a vast 
sum of unhappiness ; while even for those who en- 
joy them the issue in the main is bitter disillusion 
and sorrow heaped on sorrow. Indeed we can 
turn on our accusers with a confident tu quoque, 
and say to them : It is not we but you that, judged 
by the measures of the higher statistics, are declared 
to be the authors and abettors of the world's woe. 

For if we look back, for example, to the picture 
by St. Augustine, we shall see that first of all, 


as the very foundation of all pleasures, there was 
a vast mass of humanity who were not counted 
among the sharers. The Aristotelian doctrine 
that slavery was necessary to liberty, was distorted 
in a sense that Aristotle himself would have dis- 
avowed, and made the basis not of plain living and 
high thinking, but of licentious enjoyment. The 
boasted happiness of cheerful paganism was de- 
pendent on the life-long servitude of the majority 
of the people ; and of the free portion the greater 
part lived in precarious and degrading dependence. 
It was man preyed on by man, homo homini lupus, 
in extreme contrast to the fraternal charity of 
those who were brothers in Christ. 

And not in the Roman Empire alone, but 
everywhere and from the necessity of the case, an 
unchristian and worldly felicity (or seeming feli- 
city) rests on a substratum of unhappiness. So in 
the midst of those passages given above from the 
Book of Wisdom we can read the significant 
avowal : " Let us oppress the poor man who is 
upright, let us not spare the widow, nor reverence 
the grey locks of the aged ; but rather let our 
strength be our law of justice ; for whatever is 
weak is to be adjudged as useless." Precisely, the 
weak, the poor, the vast multitude : not for their 
lip is the draught of pleasure, but amid sorrow 


and weariness to forge the cup and tread the wine- 
press for the gladness of the few. 

Section XXXV. 
And then even among this few, even among the 
higher ranks of society and among their favourite 
freemen, we seek in vain for a life of happiness 
and contentment. Greek " blitheness " exists 
rather in the imagination of the poet Goethe than 
in the facts of history. For when we look closely, 
it is among the Christians, with all their asceticism, 
that we find blitheness and hope and peace, while 
gloom and melancholy dogged the footsteps of the 
heathen. A recent writer, all the better witness 
because the ways of Christian asceticism repel 
him, has set forth the disillusion, the sadness, the 
essential hopelessness of the heathen writers ; the 
sorrow summed up in the Virgilian lines : — 

Optima quaeque dies miseris mortalibus aevi 
Prima fugit ; subeunt morbi, tristisque senectus, 
Et labor, et durae rapit inclementia mortis : 

and how the later writers could only escape the 
note of utter sadness by ignoring all serious pro- 
blems, and resting in a shallow and makeshift truth, 
that could not face the realities of life and offered 
to sorrowing soule neither consolation nor hope. 1 

1 T. R. Glover, Life and Letters in the Fourth Century, 1901. See 
especially p. 348. 


The same truth of the joy of the Christians, the 
sadness of the pagans, had been previously set 
forth by an equally unsuspected witness, Walter 
Pater, in the exquisite tale of Marius the 
Epicurean. We see a world oppressed with the 
uncertainty and illusion of all philosophy ; we 
learn the total insufficiency of Marcus Aurelius, 
from whose barren soil neither Christian joy could 
be drawn nor Christian charity. We seem 
to hear the wail of the Greek anthology : All is 
dust, all is ashes, all is nothingness. 1 Not to 
know ! O intolerable doubt, turning every banquet 
to bitterness, every melody to discord ! Not to 
love ! How then is life worth the while ? Or if 
we may love, and seek therein our consolation, as 
the sweet-tongued After-Christian poet bids us : — 

Ah, love, let us be true to one another ! Tor the world 
Hath really neither joy, nor love, nor light, 
Nor certitude, nor peace, nor help for pain, 

our consolation is ever dwindling away, as nearer 
we draw to the heartrending moment of an ever- 
lasting farewell : — 

Atque in perpetuum frater ave atque vale. 

Or if intoxicated with power and possession we 
would revel in the darkness, the dawn will draw 
from us the cry — not of the millions of Buddhists 

1 Joseph Rickaby, Cambridge Conferences, 1898, No. viii. 


who, like other Fore-Christian peoples, believe 
and worship and pray, but — of philosophic 
Buddhism : All is transitory, all is misery, all is 
unreality ; nor as we watch the loved one writhing 
in pain, is it of any avail to cry to heaven for 
pity and comfort ; there is no heaven to hear. 1 

Section XXXVI. 
But in extreme contrast to pessimism and 
disillusion, all gloom is an alien and enemy in 
Christian hearts. If Christianity is the religion 
of sorrow, it is also, and pre-eminently, the religion 
of joy ; the solution of this antinomy being that 
Christianity is the religion of love, and that in this 
world love and sorrow are linked by a mysterious 
partnership. Now Christian asceticism is no 
superstitious pain-worship, no offering to some 
pain-loving deity, some evil principle opposed to 
the good, as though life and health were not God's 
good gifts ; nor again has it aught in common, 
except sometimes the outward show, with the 
proud self- righteousness of the Hindu ascetic or 
Moslem dervish. Much rather Christian ascetic- 
ism is a form of love ; and love being the root of 
joy, it follows that Christian joyfulness is not in 
spite of asceticism but its consequence. We are 

1 Cf. C. J. Forbes, British Burma, 1878; Dr. Flint, Anti- 
theistic Theories, 1879, Lect. vii. 


taught as an elementary truth that man is on earth 
for the one end of perfecting himself in the love 
of God. This is his purpose and probation. But 
only through labour, pain and suffering is love 
perfected. Christianity then has no mission to 
eliminate labour, pain and suffering from this world 
{pati et perpeti humanum est wrote Leo XIII.), 
but to transmute them. They can be the means 
whereby we can obtain the subjection of the lower 
selfish life and of greedy individualism ; the 
suppression of false self-assertion and of blind 
nature before the law of reason and of God. 1 
Christianity is frankly " the religion of suffering, 
of mortification, of self-sacrifice, of consuming love, 
of self-forgetting zeal, of self-crucifying union. . . . 
the religion of the Cross and the Crucified." 2 
Joyous abandonment, generous self-sacrifice, these 
are the watchwords, and to become living images 
of the Divine Model of whom it is written that 
He pleased not himself. 3 

To preserve then, and to express, and to in- 
tensify our love are the functions of Christian 
asceticism, from the lowest stages of the all-needful 
struggle against rebellious nature and against 
supernatural antagonists, to the highest flights of 

1 Tyrrell, Nova et Vetera, pp. 405, 406. 

2 Faber, Growth in Holiness, chap. iv. 3 Ibid, 


mystical union of chosen souls who know Christ 
only and Him crucified ; thus ranging from the 
fight for freedom to the liberty of holiness. And 
the common issue is joy. Nay the joyful serenity 
of the athletes of Christ has often appeared scandal- 
ous merriment ; and the light-heartedness of true 
Christian populations cannot be crushed by eco- 
nomic or political oppression. And no wonder, 
when the Gospel has proclaimed the Grand Charter 
of true emancipation : " Blessed are the poor, the 
mourners, the sick, the oppressed, the persecuted ". 
No wonder again, when the Christian family with 
its restraint and its sweetness, and the double 
strength it gives to all holy natural affections, is 
for the vast multitude of Christians a perennial 
fountain of gladness. 

And while we see around us the After-Christian 
world grow daily more terrified at pain and suffer- 
ing, throwing a veil of euphemism over the stern 
realities of disease, grasping at every anodyne, 
shrinking from self-discipline and self-denial, the 
Christians can say with simple confidence in Cruce 
salus. This principle is for them a source of 
strength and victory, while the others are involved 
in a principle of irremediable weakness. 1 

1 See especially the first chapter and the striking appendix on the 
" Gospel of Pain " in Tyrrell's Hard Sayings ; also Faber, Growth 
in Holiness, chaps, iv. and xi. 


Section XXXVII. 

We have counted as the fourth antinomy, that 
the Church appears the opponent and yet the sup- 
port of the State ; its rival and yet its ally. 

The antagonism of Church and State is derived 
principally from two of the characteristics of the 
Church, her cosmopolitanism and her autonomy ; 
she is both international and independent. 

It was the very mission of Christianity from the 
beginning to break down the barriers that separated 
Jew and Gentile, Greek and barbarian, Roman 
and Scythian ; and thereby to come into conflict 
with the strongest sentiments of natural man. 
" There is nothing men more pride themselves in 
than birth, for this very reason that it is irrevoc- 
able ; it can neither be given to those who have 
it not, nor taken away from those who have." 1 
It is conspicuous among barbarous tribes : " The 

1 Lectures on the Turks, Lect. iv. 


meanest and most ignorant of the Tartars preserve 
with conscious pride the inestimable treasure of 
their genealogy, and, whatever distinctions of rank 
may have been introduced by the unequal distribu- 
tion of pastoral wealth, they mutually respect them- 
selves and each other as the descendants of the 
first founder of the tribe". 1 But the sense of 
racial superiority is far from being confined to 
barbarians. The Jews of old, conscious of in- 
alienable superiority of birth, looked on Roman 
and Greek, Syrian and Egyptian with ineffable 
arrogance and scorn. And as the world in their 
view was divided into Jew and Gentile, so to 
Greek eyes into Greeks and barbarians. A simi- 
lar national pride is cherished among the leading 
and active nations of modern civilisation, and their 
sense of superiority and their contempt of the 
foreigner, whether latent or expressed, is gener- 
ally in proportion to their temporal success. The 
French as lagrande nation were long held a stock 
example of national vanity. Among ourselves the 
old men who remember England of the forties and 
fifties in the nineteenth century can testify to the 
scorn of the ignorant, backward, unwashed, ill- 
governed foreigner, the absolute conviction of the 
utter superiority of the English Constitution and 

1 Gibbon, Decline and Fall, chap. xxvi. 


manners. And similar national prejudices are 
seen to this day. 1 Nor are such feelings a harm- 
less and laughable weakness. Alas! the world is 
full of all too earnest racial antagonism. There is 
scarce a country great or small, that is not troubled 
with bitter strife of language and colour, outward 
and unmistakable signs abused by a perversity, at 
once human and inhuman, to separate those who 
should be brothers in Christ. 

Section XXXVIII. 

Such separation is abhorrent to the Christian 
Church ; national pride, like all other pride, can 
only expect her condemnation ; she warns us that 
the last may be first, and the first last ; gives 
us the example from her annals that though for a 
time some favoured countries and nations may be 
her peculiar territory and home, none are secure 
of that fair possession, but by an awe-striking and 
inscrutable Providence may see it pass to others. 
And far from being bound to race or caste, the 
Church is like a new nationality, above the little 

1 See the comic literature of the time, and even the serious ; 
such books as Samuel Laing's series, Notes of a Traveller, with 
their blind scorn of the students and professors of Germany. To- 
day it is rather among the Germans themselves, whose ruler ap- 
plauds them as the salt of the earth, that we see national vanity; 
or among the Americans to whom it is indisputable that among 
all nations they are the first. 


nationalities of Government, geography and blood, 
a heavenly nation with its own uncircumscribed 
territory, its own visible government, its own 
peculiar laws and universal jurisdiction. 

But by this very universality that prevents the 
Church from being appropriated by any one 
nationality and narrowed to the mind, the ways of 
thought, or the predilections of any one, ever ex- 
poses her to the danger of being regarded as an 
alien by all. She cannot be national because she 
is universal ; and her exalted character of the 
one holy Catholic Church, the Bride and Mystical 
Body of the one Christ, makes the notion of a 
national Catholic Church a contradiction in terms. 

For thus upholding in its integrity the religion of 
reason, refusing the support of false pretences, of 
national pride and blind fanaticism, she must pay 
the penalty. It was more than the Jews could 
bear to hear, even from their own Scriptures, how 
there were many widows in Israel in the days of 
Elias, yet to none was he sent, but rather to a 
widow of Sidon ; and many lepers in Israel in the 
days of Eliseus, yet none healed, but rather 
Naaman the Syrian. And perverted nationalism 1 

a The word "nationalism" has two senses, one the effort to 
prevent absorption by another nationality, as the efforts of the 
Poles, Flemings, Catalonians and Finns, lest they be absorbed by 
the German, French, Spanish and Russian nationalities; against 


has continued a repeated source of trouble, from 
the complaints of undue preference to Jewish over 
Greek widows narrated in the Acts, or the opposi- 
tion of the native Egyptians to the Greek settlers 
in the fifth century, down to the struggle between 
Bohemian and German or between Hungarian and 
Croatian in our own day. 

But is then nationality to be ignored and all 
nations treated as though they were identical? 
Not so ; for this would be to deny the providential 
distinction of nations each bound to use its special 
character for the glory of the Most High, and 
would be to deny the fitness of the Church to deal 
with each. All alike must be addressed, but each 
addressed in its own peculiar way, nor any rigid 
uniformity preserved of outward expression. For 
indeed the fashions of speech and action vary so 
much with race and nation, that what would imply 
evil in the one, say falsehood or irreverence, implies 
no evil in the other ; not that the principles of 
morals vary geographically, but the significance of 
externals ; and thus each man feels, and feels 
rightly, that a foreigner is no judge of his conduct, 
and lacks the subtle appreciation needed for a fair 

which efforts the Church has no word to say. The other sense, 
which is anti-Christian, is to put country or race before the law 
of God and the dictates of charity, and to adhere to a religion not 
because it is true, but because it is national. 


estimate. But the Church, precisely because in 
one sense she is a foreigner to all, is a foreigner to 
none ; and brings with her not only the general 
graces needed for all, but also the particular grace 
needed to correct the particular form of human 
corruption prominent in the natural character of 
each nation ; ministering as a common source of 
grace to each varied necessity. Unity is her mark : 
unification her work : by nature the members 
of the Church are not one and would not become 
one ; yet in the essentials of their faith, their de- 
votions, and their moral ideas, she makes them one. 
And thus evil once more, as it only exists for 
the sake of good, has to yield to good ; and the 
struggle of nationalities, that is ever a trouble to 
the Church and a difficulty, becomes the witness 
of her unifying powers, and the very material of 
her triumph. 

Section XXXIX. 

But the complaint of the State or civil power 
against the Christian Church has not been merely 
that she refuses to be national, but that she 
claims an influence and independence that seems 
to overpass all limits. An international society 
that only taught some obscure doctrines of no 
practical import, could be left undisturbed in its 


obscurity. But here was a definite message to 
all mankind on the gravest of truths ; here was a 
definite body that came to set right and to govern 
the world ; here too were no empty claims, but 
the visible obedience to this alien power by all 
classes of men. " If the Church is independent 
of the State, so far as she is a messenger from 
God, therefore should the State with its high 
officials and its subject masses, come into her 
communion, it is plain that they must at once 
change hostility into submission. There was no 
middle term ; either they must deny her claim to 
divinity or humble themselves before it, that is as 
far as the domain of religion extends, and that 
domain is a wide one. They could not place God 
and man on one level." 1 For the mightiest war- 
lord, the most keen-witted legislator, there was no 
exemption from obedience. 

Such a Church with such claims has ever been, 
and if from God, ought ever to be, in conflict with 
the civil power ; and the acuteness of the conflict 
has shown incessant variation. The unregenerate 
civil power of Ancient Rome held the Christians 
to be a rebel people, a nefarious conspiracy, men 
of a desperate faction ; and looked on the Church 
as intolerant, engrossing, tending to a new modd- 

1 Letter to the Duke of Norfolk, p. 34., 


ling of society, breaking laws, dividing families, 
introducing unsettlement and discord into the 
social and political world ; an organised body 
closely welded together and holding all outside 
its pale as rebels or misbelievers, itself grasping 
at paramount influence and control. 1 

And not merely in the days of unregenerate 
paganism, but ever since, and in proportion to 
their unregeneracy, the rulers of this world have 
watched the Church with untiring jealousy, and 
under the decent mask of civil obedience have 
upheld the principles of ecclesiastical servitude 
known in recent centuries as Erastianism or 
Caesarism. And she, for all their watching, has 
upheld her great tradition of Apostolic independ- 
ence and freedom of speech, and has continued to 
give her message to the world, and her testimony, 
whatever the consequence, in behalf of the moral 
and revealed law from the far distant days of 
Athanasius, of Chrysostom, or of Pope Martin 
against the Emperors of the East, onwards to 
the struggle for liberty against Henry IV. of 
Germany, or John of England, or Philip the Fair 
of France ; onwards again to the nefarious con- 
spiracies of the Bourbon Courts and Joseph II. 

1 See the accumulation of passages given in the Development of 
Christian Doctrine, chap, vi., § 1. 



in the eighteenth century, and the treacherous 
Napoleon who followed in their evil track, even 
down to the days our own eyes have seen, when 
Ledochowski of Posen, Eberhard of Treves, Mel- 
chers of Cologne, and Mermillod of Geneva were 
in bonds or banishment. Truly the Church can 
say with the Psalmist : I spoke of thy testimonies 
even before kings, and I was not ashamed. 

Section XL. 

Nevertheless this very Church that seems to 

the powers of the world so unwelcome an intruder, 

is found on closer scrutiny to be their very stay and 

support. As she herself sings on the Epiphany : — 

Crudelis Herodes, Deum 
Regem venire quid times ? 
Non eripit mortalia, 
Qui regna dat caelestia. 

The fear of her is an idle fear ; she robs not 
kings and magistrates of their earthly crowns by 
putting a heavenly crown within their reach ; and 
Caesar will receive his own with tenfold security, 
if to God are rendered the things that are God's. 

This conclusion that is a seeming paradox is 
reached in the following manner : It is true that 
Christianity as the religion of reason and the re- 
ligion of civilisation has so far produced discord, 
that it disallows a union based on fable ; will not 


suffer a brotherhood based on common descent 
from a demigod ; invites the scrutiny of en- 
lightened reason ; dissipates those objects of im- 
agination, such as a Divine dynasty, that are the 
bond of a barbarous state ; renders impossible the 
peace and stability of stagnation by introducing a 
dynamic force ; restrains us by no superstitious 
fears from exploring to our utmost the earth, the 
sea and the very stars ; but yet in all this merely 
does what reason and civilisation without any 
religion would have done in any case ; only does 
more. For they, having made a clean sweep of 
picturesque illusion and serviceable fanaticism, 
leave a tabula rasa, a bare smooth surface, whereon 
no principle of union can find a hold. True, there 
is the recommendation to maintain law and order, 
to secure complete protection to property, person 
and health. But what heart is stirred or conscience 
moved by such a recommendation? And this sober 
appeal to self-interest loses the very appearance 
of reasonableness when addressed to those who 
lack property to be protected or an easy life to be 
made secure. The antique loyalty may have been 
incompatible with reasonable political science : — 

I once had sons, but now hae nane ; 

I bred them toiling sairly, 
And I wad bear them a' again, 

And lose them a' for Charlie. 


But is the voice of reason and civilisation in the 
first letter of Junius of any value as a practical 
substitute ? " Loyalty in the heart and under- 
standing of an Englishman is a rational attach- 
ment to the guardian of the laws ". We need 
some better principle of union than this, some 
stronger basis of law and order ; and we can find 
it in the teaching of the Christian Church on unity 
and obedience. For knowing that union in belief 
and thought is the only lasting basis of union in 
action, she lays the greatest stress on unity of 
faith, and expressly teaches the superior efficacy 
and dignity of public prayer and worship over 
private ; we are dearer to God when in union with 
others. Instead of admitting a disruptive indi- 
vidualism, each one living for himself in self-seek- 
ing isolation, the Church binds us together by the 
doctrine of corporate merit and corporate guilt, 
of vicarious suffering and atonement, of mankind 
linked together for weal or woe. 1 True individu- 
alism indeed was upheld, almost created, by the 
Catholic doctrine of the absolute and ineffaceable 
value of the individual soul, to whom as an indi- 
vidual were administered the Sacraments, and for 
whom an individual judgment was in store. But 
individualism in this sense was in no opposition 

'See Tyrrell's Nova et Vetera, pp. 114, 174, 184, 243. 


to each man being in his special place amid order 
and subordination, knit by a thousand ties to his 
fellow-men. No doubt, in the eighteenth century 
a theory arose that the maximum of public good 
would arise from each man seeking unhindered 
his own ends without any regard for the public 
weal. But the bitter experience of the waste of 
national resources, the waste of lives and goods 
(already described in the second chapter), is the 
best reply to the imagined harmony of private 
self-aggrandisement and public weal. Indeed in its 
acute form this reckless egoism appears as revolt 
on the one side, and tyranny on the other, both of 
them lawless, both of them self-seeking, both of 
them in extreme opposition to Christian teaching 
that we should seek not our own things but the 
things of Christ. 

Section XLI. 

And this same teaching takes, so to speak, the 
sting out of obedience. Where reason has dis- 
solved the charm that threw a halo round authority, 
and we meet all unveiled a mere man, advanced in 
years, not quick to hear or see, unwieldy in body, 
eager for choice food, narrow in mind — there is a 
difficulty in obeying him ; or again if, being our- 
selves grave with age and dignity, we are called 


on to obey an inexperienced stripling. But 
reasonable religion replaces the veil of awe that 
simple reason had been compelled to remove. 
There is no power, it tells us, but from God : by 
Him kings reign and princes decree justice. 
Earthly power, in the sense of lawful authority, is 
a fragment borrowed from the plenitude of Him 
who said of Himself: "All power is given to Me 
in Heaven and on earth ". To resist the earthly 
power is therefore to resist the ordinance of God. 
And thus again, it is not the person — not the frail 
man encompassed with infirmities — but the office, 
the authority, of which God's authority is the 
archetype, that we revere and obey. The man 
set over us may be our inferior by many degrees 
in all mental and physical gifts ; but beside him 
stands one who in all things is our superior not by 
degrees but by infinitude. 1 

So it comes about that the Church is the stay 
and support of temporal rulers against anarchic 
individualism. It is not a loss to them but a gain 
to be stripped of seeming power by the Christian 
maxim, We must obey God rather than man ; 
when the second Christian maxim, All power is 
from God, makes solid alike the presidential chair 
or royal throne. And this all the more because 

1 Hard Sayings, pp. 243-246. 


by its teaching on the duty of labour and the 
sanctity of family life, Christianity provides a stock 
of numerous families trained in the laws of obedi- 
ence and self-restraint, and taught as connected 
duties to fear God and honour the King. Whereas 
an idle, critical, lax, unprincipled, semi-childless 
crowd, to whom it appears the better the less 
there is of authority and direction, and having for 
its watchword that every man please himself — it 
is this After-Christian crowd, untaught the prin- 
ciple of obedience or having unlearnt it, and not 
the Christian Church, that is the danger to order 
and to government. 

The science of politics is full of difficulty, its 
doctrines obscure, its precepts in many points 
disputable. But on one point there seems agree- 
ment, that the constitutional forms of any govern- 
ment are of little moment compared with the 
character of the men on whom devolves their 
working. Now the Church, by her own declara- 
tion, is indifferent to forms of government ; * but 
she is a coefficient in producing the character of 
men, and profoundly interested in the product. 
And this being so, we can repeat the ancient 
answer of St. Augustine : " Let those who say that 

1 See for example the encyclical Immortal* Dei, issued by 
Leo XIII. in 1885. 


the doctrine of Christ is adverse to the State ... let 
them show us an army of soldiers such as the 
doctrine of Christ has commanded them to be, let 
them show us such governors of provinces, such 
husbands and wives, such parents and children, 
such masters and servants, such kings, such judges, 
as the Christian teaching would have them to be, 
nay such contributors of all manner of taxes and 
such gatherers of taxes ; and then let them have 
the face, if they can, to call this teaching injurious 
to the State." ' 

And the same teacher who has cited this ancient 
apologia, tells us, not that the British flag (or some 
other flag) is for the prudent citizen a commercial 
asset of fluctuating value, and to be treated accord- 
ingly ; but rather tells us that Christians are bound 
by the very law of nature (or rule of right reason) 
to love and cherish their native land, even to being 
ready as good citizens to sacrifice their very lives 
for her from whom they have received the use of 
this mortal life ; and that of this natural love of 
earthly country the author and the cause is God. 2 

1 Epist. 138, "ad Marcellinum," appositely cited in the ency- 
clical Immortale Dei. 

2 Encyclical Sapientice Christianitz of 1890. Cf. the delightful 
chapter on " Instinct de la patrie " in Chateaubriand's Genie du 
Christianisme, part i., bk. v., ch. xiv. 


Section XLII. 

We have counted as the fifth antinomy, that the 
Church upholds the equality of man and yet the 
inequality of property and power. 

The inequalities of social position are a chronic 
difficulty to philosophers, a periodical difficulty to 
statesmen : not indeed that one man should be 
wealthy and in command, another man poor and 
subordinate ; for this might seem the fair result of 
the competence of the one and the incompetence of 
the other ; but that one man should start life with 
an equipment of wealth and education, another 
uneducated and penniless. This difficulty was 
augmented during the nineteenth century by 
various economic theories which, in their efforts 
to answer socialism, obscured the nature of in- 
equality. Adam Smith had understood it and 
expressed it clearly : that a man is rich or poor 

according to the quantity of the labour of other 



people which he can command or which he can 
afford to hire ; 1 that " wherever there is great 
property there is great inequality. For one very 
rich man there must be at least 500 poor, and the 
affluence of the few supposes the indigence of the 
many ". 2 The fact indeed was a commonplace. 
The only meaning of a family rising above the 
general level of poor labouring men was that for 
that family others were working, others in part or 
wholly its servants. And an increase in such 
service is of the very essence of every rise through 
the multitudinous grades of the middle class to the 
higher ranks of the professional and military classes 
(the Aristotelian jxeaot) till we reach the man of 
" independent means " who enjoys at leisure the 
ministrations of his domestic servants, and the pro- 
duce of his industrial servants in the shape of his 
rents, dividends and interest. Without servants 
he could neither receive nor enjoy his income. 3 

1 Wealth of Nations, bk. i., chap. v. 2 Ibid., bk. v., chap, i., part ii. 

3 Mr. Charles Booth divides the population of London into 8o"i 
per cent, who keep no (domestic) servants, 113 who keep them, 
4-9 who are themselves servants, and 37 who are inmates of in- 
stitutions. But as in nearly half the cases of servant-keeping one 
person waits on four or more, while in less than a tenth of the 
cases the servants equal or exceed the number of those they 
serve ; we may reckon roughly a serving class of 85 per cent., an 
intermediate class of io'3 per cent, and a commanding class of 
only 1 per cent., the rest being inmates of institutions. — Life 
and Labour in London, vol. v., ed. 1895. 


Let this much explain the nature of hereditary 
inequality ; its justification, speaking broadly, is its 
necessity for civilisation. " Mankind," said Dr. 
Johnson, "are happier in a state of inequality and 
subordination. . . . All would be losers if all were 
to work for all ; they would have no intellectual 
improvement. All intellectual improvement arises 
from leisure ; all leisure arises from one working 
for another." 1 

The same truth was expressed by Aristotle in 
the seeming paradox that " slavery " is a necessity 
for "liberty". For by Aristotelian slavery we 
may understand subordination and service of the 
great majority ; and by Aristotelian liberty we 
may understand the intellectual cultivation and 
social and political rule of the comparatively few : 
the condition, and the necessary condition of highly 
civilised States in the time of Aristotle, and of Dr. 
Johnson, and of ourselves. 

But this is not the whole truth. How comes it 
that our own times are filled with the attempted 
solutions of the problem of inequality, and that 
Aristotle himself is confused and hesitating on the 
institutions of his time that we call slavery ? How 
comes it that two minds so radically opposed as 
Adam Smith the free-thinker and Dr. Johnson the 

1 Boswdl's Life of Johnson, ii., p. 207, edit. Napier. 


Christian, are both alike, with mid-eighteenth 
century conditions before them, so tranquil and 
so clear? 

The answer here, as so often, is only to be 
gained by looking to history. Now the point of 
importance is not whether we find great inequality 
of wealth from childhood upwards or whether we 
find (what is the same thing in other words) the 
great bulk of the people acting as servants and 
providers of rent and interest for comparatively 
few ; for this is a common feature of civilisation. 
The real point of importance is how the inequality 
is organised, what are the personal relations be- 
tween the master and his servants, the employer 
and his workmen, the landlord and his tenants. 
These relations on a broad view of history are 
principally four. Two of them, where the servants 
are permanently bound, differ between themselves 
fundamentally according to whether the service is 
limited and the masters bound by serious obliga- 
tions, or whether the service is unlimited and the 
masters not bound ; the first to be called serfdom, 
the second slavery. The two remaining relations 
of service have in common that their duration is 
limited and their origin a contract ; they differ in 
whether the conditions of contract are or are not 
seriously regulated by law, custom or other com- 


bination. Both are called free service, or a state 
of freedom, in contrast to serfdom or slavery ; 
but no particular term has been adopted to dis- 
tinguish whether they are regulated or unregu- 
lated, except the misleading antithesis of customary 
and competitive. 

The notions expressed by the words poor and 
rich, servant and master, bond and free, are mere 
skeletons till clothed in the flesh of concrete cir- 
cumstance and shown in actual examples. We 
cannot even take for granted that " slaves," still 
less "serfs," are in a worse economic condition 
than "free" workmen. It is only a presumption 
which in any particular case may have to be with- 
drawn. 1 

Section XLIII. 

Now precisely in the great world-empire, where 
Christianity was first preached, the prevailing 
conditions of service were those of unmitigated 
slavery ; the slaves were bereft of country, of 
family, of a proper name, of marriage ; any child 
of theirs was at law without kith or kin ; they 
existed only for the benefit of the master who 

1 Thus in mid-nineteenth century "free" negroes in Barbadoes 
were not in a better but in a worse condition than the contem- 
porary " slave " negroes in Brazil; the Russian "serfs" in 1850 
were not in a worse but in a better condition than in 1900 when 
they were "free". 


could maltreat them even to death, and separate 
or sell them as he pleased. 

To this' condition the great civilised world of 
Greece and Rome had sunk when Christ was 

No doubt there were many examples of affec- 
tion and devotion on the part of slaves towards 
their masters ; no doubt kind treatment and 
emancipation were common ; nor strange when 
we remember that the offices of tutor, private 
secretary, librarian, and medical man, were fre- 
quently fulfilled by slaves. But all honest friend- 
liness rested on the good pleasure of the master, 
and the law was a perpetual incitement to the 
indulgence of every evil passion. 

Was slavery declared by the new religion to 
be unlawful ? Or was it approved ? Or was there 
silence concerning this most unhappy form in 
which the necessary inequality of civilisation had, 
in this particular civilisation, taken shape ? 

Slavery was not left in silence, was not declared 
unlawful ; was recognised rather as a great fact, 
as part of the structure of society. It was no ex- 
ternal emancipation that Christianity proclaimed ; 
nay, from the Sermon on the Mount and the 
Epistles of St. Paul onwards, the reiterated teach- 
ing was : Obey, submit, serve your masters most 


diligently, even the harsh and evil tempered ; be 
glad of humiliations ; be mindful that for your 
sake the Lord of Heaven took on Himself the 
form of a slave ; and rejoice in poverty that 
was the very condition chosen by Him after whose 
way you should walk. Indeed a passage in St. 
Paul (1 Cor. vii. 21) was considered by some of 
the Fathers as a recommendation to remain a slave 
even if the opportunity arose of being emanci- 
pated ; l and Christian slaves were expressly 
warned not to make light of Christian masters 
because of their community of faith (1 Tim. vi. 
2). Nay, the Christian Church cast forth from 
her pale the Eustathians of Cappadocia, who re- 
fused the title of Christian to all slave-owners ; 
and cast forth the Circumcellians of Africa, who 
urged the slaves to revolt, and the Ebionites who 
exaggerated into temporal equality the spiritual 
equality of Christianity, and the Carpocratians 
who taught a doctrine akin to the extremer forms 
of modern socialism. 

The early Church then made no attempt at a 
social revolution, suffered the terms of service and 
distribution of property to remain unaltered, and 

1 See Rivista Internazionale di Scienze Sociali, Rome, October, 
1904, pp. 169, 170, in the series of articles by S. Talamo based on 
the available texts and entitled "La Schiavitu secondo i Padri 
della Chiesa". 



might be thought to have left in heretical hands 
the charge of emancipation. 

Section XLIV. 

Nevertheless the same Church that by her 
glorification of poverty, obedience and humilia- 
tion might seem the very buttress of slavery, and 
of the social order of the great world of Rome 
and Greece, was all the while preparing the way 
for a radical transformation. And this not by 
mere words — many and beautiful were the words 
of pagan poets and philosophers on the natural 
equality and dignity of man, from Plautus and 
Cicero to Juvenal, Epictetus and Marcus Au- 
relius. The Christians too, when they had gained 
the freedom of their literary voice, had passages 
no less eloquent, such as we can read in the 
institutes of Lactantius or the Scripture com- 
mentaries of St. Gregory of Nyssa. But long 
before her children could be eloquent the Church 
worked a work for which no mere eloquence could 
avail ; and having within herself a force that could 
change the heart, she began at her very outset 
the great and immediate work of freeing her 
children from the slavery to passion and sin, an 
internal emancipation compared to which the 
external and legal emancipation was but a small 


thing, and could be left, according to external 
conditions, leisurely to follow. The poor slaves, 
hitherto with no will and, so to speak, with no 
soul and conscience of their own, were once more 
made men by Christianity ; and while in all else 
their obedience was quickened, they were totally 
exempt from the obedience that implied im- 
morality or injustice. The sacred words, We 
must obey God rather than man, applied to the 
social and domestic sphere no less than to the 
political. The Christian master, though he could 
still command, and indeed with more efficacy than 
before, because the Christian slave was bound by 
a new and moral obligation, yet could command 
only with limitations, lest the law of God be 
broken ; and besides this negative limit, was 
bound by the positive obligation to minister to 
the spiritual welfare of his slaves, or to be as one 
who had denied the faith and was worse than an 
unbeliever. Thus the obligation became two- 
sided ; the very essence of slavery was dissolved ; 
those who served a Christian master became as 
bondservants or serfs ; and in spite of the letter 
of the Roman Law and the jurisprudence of its 
exponents, were no longer slaves. 

Further, the great wall built of scorn and 
abjection, the cruel work of a high unchristian 


civilisation was thrown down by the fraternity and 
equality of Christian worship, master and slave 
sharing it alike, equal before God, 1 with the same 
religious duties, partaking of the same august 
sacraments and divine mysteries, alike able to be 
raised (the slave after emancipation) to be a priest 
or bishop, even bishop of Rome (as St. Calixtus), 
nay to reach the highest of all glories and to be 
numbered among the saints. In fact, a whole 
army of martyrs were mere slaves of whom the 
names have mostly been lost, but some few pre- 
served ; 2 and on the anniversary of the martyr's 
death (natalitid) the pious crowd knelt round the 
tomb, though it was but the tomb of a slave. 

Moreover, the honour and obligation of labour, 
rendering it worthy of a freedman ; the prohibition 
of the exposure of children, a practice that had 
supplied a recruiting ground for the slave-specu- 
lator, who reared the children (alumni) for slavery ; 
the adoption of foundlings to be reared in free- 
dom ; the bloom of institutions from the fourth 

'In the Christian catacombs the word servus, in the sense of 
slave to another, is scarcely if ever found on an inscription, and 
the word libertus (freedman) rarely, though both are very common 
on pagan inscriptions. 

2 See the chapter, " Les Esclaves Martyrs," in Paul Allard, Les 
Esclavcs Chretiens. Some of the most famous were women slaves, 
like St. Blandina of Lyons in the second century and St. Felicitas 
in Africa. 


century for widows and orphans, captives and 
debtors, sick and poverty-stricken ; and various 
laws of Christian Emperors, hesitating indeed and 
slow, but by the time of Justinian fairly impressed 
with Christian influence — all were factors in the 
change from slavery to a condition partly of free 
labour and partly of serfdom. And then, in the 
Teutonic kingdoms of the West, the Church had 
to engage in a long struggle to prevent the 
renewal of the old abuses of slavery, such as 
unpunished homicide, removal far from home, 
and commercial slave trading. And gradually as 
the sense of man's dignity, being the participator 
in the divine nature, exercised its force, as well as 
the sense of Christian fraternity, it came to be 
seen that, at least for those races long in the fold, 
there was something incongruous in the life-long 
subordination of serfdom ; and the manumission 
of serfs though not imposed on their masters as 
a duty, was recommended as among the works 
known theologically as meritorious. 

The same dignity of man made it meritorious 
to provide all with the means of intellectual culture. 
The Church, by her own simple yet sublime teach- 
ing, imparted to all her children a training that 
in a sense can be called philosophical ; by the 
history of her saints she put before them examples 


of heroic virtue ; by the beauty of her ritual she 
provided a means of aesthetic culture for the 
poorest, so that the peasant, even if illiterate, was 
not uncultured. But she went further and urged 
the provision of literary training even for the 
poorest ; and so effectively that our England could 
show cathedral, monastery, and collegiate schools 
together with hospital, guild, chantry, and inde- 
pendent schools, till they were destroyed, mostly 
without any educational substitute, during the 
spoliations under Henry VIII., and Edward VI. 
Nor was hers the policy that opposed teaching 
the American negroes to read and to write. 

Section XLV. 

Although the inequality necessary to civilisation 
implies a certain chronic antagonism between the 
classes of society, it is only from time to time that 
the antagonism becomes acute, either from wide- 
spread abuse of property and power ; * or secondly, 
from revolutionary religious changes - or the slow 
decay of religion,'' whereby the ground is weakened 

1 So at the time of the Gracchi, and later of the slave revolt 
under Spartacus. 

3 So the Peasants' War in Germany after the preaching of 

•So in many Greek towns, Corinth among them, as described 
by Polybius in the second and third centuries b.c. 


on which rests the acquiescence in service and in- 
equality ; or thirdly from a combination of these 

Such a combination has been the cause in the 
nineteenth century of the grave dissension, known 
in many countries as the labour question or social 
question ; and though not co-extensive with the 
growth of After-Christian populations, yet stands 
to it in close and frequent connection. 

The industrial revolution, that began in England, 
spread afterwards to Europe, and later to America, 
showed as its first-fruits the collection of vast bodies 
of workpeople to take part in the new methods of 
production, the displacement of many of the 
workers on the old methods, and the dissolution 
of the former organisation of master and servant. 
Free labour regulated had given place to free 
labour unregulated ; and though the legal con- 
ditions of service were totally unlike those of the 
classical Roman Empire, there was a sinister like- 
ness in the practical abuse of irresponsible power. 
For before the law intervened or workmen's 
associations became effective, a large proportion of 
workmen found themselves forced to accept any 
condition of work, however hard, in order to live ; 
and forced to see their women and children exposed 
defenceless to cruelty and demoralisation such as 


Europe had not witnessed for fifteen hundred 

One government after another has attempted to 
adjust the law to the the new circumstances ; and 
new codes of workmen's legislation have sprung 
up on all sides — factory laws, workmen's insurance, 
laws on mines, merchant shipping, education and 
public health. In some countries, conspicuously 
in Germany, a large part of the evils due to the 
industrial revolution have been remedied by legisla- 
tion. In others, conspicuously in England, legisla- 
tion has been assisted or supplemented by work- 
men's associations. But in no country has a 
remedy been found for the new evil of an ever- 
increasing proportion of the people being com- 
pelled, themselves to live and their children to be 
reared, no longer in the open country, but in the 
physical congestion and moral contagion of great 
cities. Nor with the examples of Germany, Great 
Britain, France and America before us, dare we 
affirm that even the best of labour legislation will 
ensure contentment, or that associations will be 
efficacious for those most in need of it, or not be 
perverted, from being a bulwark against oppres- 
sion and a means of conciliation, to become a 
promoter of discord. And then the adoption by 
masters and men of After-Christian doctrines and 


negations have widely weakened, politically and 
socially, the notions of reverence, duty, obedience 
to superiors, submission to Providence ; so that 
often those with the least cause of complaint are 
the least content. 

The word Socialism is often used in a loose 
sense to express any effort to prevent or to 
mitigate the evils of industrial life ; and in this 
sense all social endeavour of Christian and After- 
Christian, of Jew or Fore-Christian, to make better 
the condition of workmen would be called forms 
of socialism ; and every Christian almost ex vi 
termini would be a socialist. But this use of the 
term deprives it of all scientific value. It is wiser 
to confine it to those theories that have in 
common the wish to abolish rather than amend 
inequality and service, and thus make an end of 
income from interest, rent and dividends. This 
proposed abolition of " unearned income " became, 
by the brilliant reasoning of Karl Marx, 1 a terror 

x The critics of Karl Marx generally miss the main point, and 
fix attention on his teaching that value is congealed labour, and 
that history is wholly the result of economic forces. To over- 
throw Marx on these points is to leave socialism as strong as ever. 
One opponent indeed, Dr. Menger, bravely faces the issue, and 
states the problem or iniquity of " unearned income " (arbeitsloses 
Binkommen) as plainly as Marx himself. But then he makes all 
rights to farm-rents, ground-rents, house-rents, annuities, rent- 
charges, royalties, dividends, interest from mortgages, from 


to the holders of property and power, many of 
whom were conscious of their dubious title to the 
possessions called their own. And just as in the 
early centuries of Christian history we find various 
heretical bodies teaching the unlawfulness of 
service or of inequality, their doctrine made 
specious because of the abuses of slavery — or just 
as the abuses of the new West European refine- 
ment and enrichment of the twelfth century gave 
plausibility to the heretical socialism of the Poor 
Men of Lyons and the Fraticelli, the unorthodox 
perverters of Franciscan social reform — or just as 
in the fourteenth century the abuses of decaying 
chivalry and uprising legalism gave some show 
of justice to the anarchical Lollards — so in these 
days various unorthodox Christian bodies, appalled 
by the social evils that surround them, unlit by 
any beacon, uncertain in their principles, are ready 
to forbid rent and interest, and fondly think that 
in opposing hereditary inequality they are repeating 
to the modern world the genuine teaching of the 
Christian Fathers, nay of Christ Himself. 

government or municipal stock, or from any kind of loan — all this 
"unearned income" to rest, not on any principle of justice, but on 
the slippery basis of positive law. And his is merely another way 
of saying beati possidentes or Might makes Right. See the English 
translation of The Right to the Whole Produce of Labour edited in 
1899 D Y Pr°f- Foxwell who himself takes the Christian standpoint 
that humanity and justice are needful accompaniments of property. 


Section XLVI. 

It is otherwise with the Church to whom those 
teaching's are secured and made plain by a Divine 
illumination ; who, when the due time has come, 
will apply her old principles to the new situation. 
To meet ancient slavery she had taught that the 
mere inequality of wealth was not to blame, nor 
the necessity of service, but the misuse of wealth 
and the misuse of service. In like manner she 
proclaimed in the nineteenth century no levelling 
of inequalities, no abolition of domestic or industrial 
service, no prohibition of rents, or dividends, or 
any form of non-usurious interest. St. Paul's ex- 
hortations have been followed almost to the letter ; 
the same emphasis laid on patience, obedience, 
submission, fidelity ; the same disapproval of vio- 
lence, of confiscation, of revolt. But then the 
modern Church, like the ancient, has been equally 
emphatic on the duties of Christian masters and 
men of wealth, and on the duties (of no practical 
import in St. Paul's time) of the Christian State. 1 

Strict justice, we are taught, forbids all evil 
enrichment ; forbids overreaching one's neighbour 
in business ; forbids unfair prices, whether to the 

1 See in general the Acta Leonis XIII. , and in particular the four 
encyclicals Arcanum Divina of 1880, Immortals Dei of 1885, Sapien- 
tice Christiana of 1890, and Rerun Novarum of 1891. 


ruin of competitors or to the injury of purchasers ; 
forbids secret commissions, frauds on the exchanges, 
and all forms of the ever-renewed evil of usury, of 
which the unwearied condemnations by the Church 
marks her as the watchful protector of the weak. 
Strict justice moreover in the relation of employer 
and employed, forbids underpay or overwork, or 
misuse of weak age or sex for unsuitable tasks, or 
exposing them to immoral or unsanitary influences, 
or doing injury to the home life of those employed. 

Now matters of strict justice fall within the pro- 
vince of the State ; and no Christian government 
worthy of the name would suffer these evils to 
endure, without some effort to abate them ; but 
would rather aim at securing in the teeth of so- 
phistical economists and interested obstructors the 
prevalence of fair rents, fair interest, fair wages, 
fair prices, fair taxes — in short, society transfused 
with justice. 

Nor is the plea available that a man can do what 
he will with his own ; " own " implies justice, and 
for ownership to be perverted to injustice is to cut 
at the root of its justification. 

Nor again is the plea of free contract available, 
and the right of individual bargaining. Extremes 
meet, and the individualist demand for unrestricted 
contract is akin to the socialist demand for universal 


equality. Both rest on the supposition that men 
are mere atoms fortuitously meeting with no relevant 
antecedents ; when in fact they are already parts 
of a social organisation, and already involved in a 
network of rights and duties. No contract is valid 
that involves either party in a neglect of their 
duties or makes them partakers of injustice. No 
laws of property are to be approved that would 
separate utterly the fortunes of parents and children, 
remove parental responsibility and put the children 
of the idle, the drunken and the profligate on a par 
with the children of the upright. Both the indi- 
vidualist and socialist position alike presuppose no 
previous family union, no link of native land, no 
bonds of citizenship and association, and are adapted 
to a yet untried society where not merely the waifs 
and strays but the whole population would be 
reared in a cosmopolitan foundling-house, and, as 
far as legitimate union and offspring were concerned, 
would live and die wifeless and childless. So both 
theories can be dismissed as unhistorical. 

Section XLVII. 

Further, we are taught by the Church that 
those in power should promote association and 
ownership among the masses of the people as the 
two pillars of their welfare ; and so that instead of 


being like a heap of shifting sand or grain in bulk, 
that they may be bound in cohesion by multi- 
tudinous unions according to trade and locality, 
and given easy access to a hundred forms of 
property and insurance ; a guard moreover being 
set lest they be robbed directly or indirectly of the 
fruit or the root of their sobriety and toil. 

Finally the old teaching of the Christian Fathers 
has been uttered anew, on the duties of charity, 
on the moral responsibilities of the rich, on the 
blessing of almsgiving ; and we may repeat with 
Lactantius after sixteen centuries, that if justice 
is the basis of society, the bond thereof is com- 
passion {inisericordia vel humanitas). The rich 
and powerful and cultured are to spend on the less 
richly endowed classes not mere money but them- 
selves. For the social question is much more 
than a money question, and no code of laws, how- 
ever wise, can provide all that is needful for 
fruitful reform. Nay, the chief thing needful 
would be missing ; intra animum medendum est. 
There must be interior reformation, without which 
neither workmen's insurance, nor factory laws, nor 
continuation schools, nor public baths and libraries, 
nor abundant leisure, nor high wages, nor short 
hours of work, nor cheap and sanitary dwellings, 
nor allotments and small holdings, nor light and 


equable taxation, will avail for social peace. All 
these are good things and desirable ; but their 
efficacy is neutralised if those who enjoy them 
become entangled in the toils of After-Christian 
corruption. Nature not grace prevails, and a 
double pestilence, the greed for wealth and the 
thirst for pleasure, makes men poor in the midst 
of abundance, breaking up homes, setting neigh- 
bours at variance, making men like the beasts who 
prey on one another. Then is forfeited man's 
noblest prerogative to dwell together in unity ; 
and by a process the very reverse of Christian 
asceticism, they who seek their life lose it, and 
the tree of happiness they have planted brings 
forth ashes as its fruit. 

Thus the Church amid externals of which almost 
every feature has changed, repeats the same 
message that she delivered by the voice of Paul 
or Chrysostom ; proclaims the all-importance of 
the spiritual life of man ; bids us first seek the 
Kingdom of God and His justice ; and then that 
all things else shall be added to us ; stands as the 
peacemaker between warring classes, between the 
embittered slaves and irresponsible masters of the 
Roman Empire, between the feudal lords and their 
serfs, between the burghers (j?opolani) and nobles 
{grandi) of the Italian republics, and then again 


between the higher burghers (populo grassd) and 
humbler citizens (fiopulo minuto) of the Italian 
cities ; and once more between employers and 
employed in the great industrial centres of our 
own day ; urging again and again amid chronic 
backsliding the renovation of society by the reign 
of Christ. 


Section XLVIII. 

We have counted as the sixth antinomy, that 
the Church is full of scandals and yet all holy : 
proclaims a law at once difficult and yet easy. 

The fact of evil living and evil deeds among 
believing Christians is beyond question. Even 
if we take no count of the sin and scandal of 
heresy and schism (to be dealt with in the eighth 
chapter), and even if we remove the mountainous 
accumulation of fables, false judgments, blind 
prejudice and malignant calumny, there still re- 
mains, alas ! a second mountain of scandalous fact, 
beginning with what we read in the pages of the 
New Testament, such as the many failings of 
the Corinthian converts or the tepid Church of 
Laodicea ; and discernible century after century. 
So, for example, the worldly Christians whose 
portraiture is to be found in the Shepherd of 
Hernias, during the time of peace before the 

II id 


persecution of Decius, and then in natural sequence 
a multitude of defections ; again a hundred years 
later the influx of laxity after the age of persecu- 
tions had ended, those unworthy members of the 
Church who almost made the great St. Ambrose 
lose heart, and who clung so fast to pagan licen- 
tiousness that in Africa the rude Vandal conquerors 
were astonished at the spectacle of vice ; then 
later the scandalous courts of the two great 
Christian states, the Frankish and the Byzantine ; 
the popes of the tenth century mere puppets of 
the factious Roman nobles ; the sad moral con- 
dition even among the pious Anglo-Saxons of the 
laicised monasteries before the reforms of St. 
Dunstan ; the concubinage of the clergy before 
the reforms of Gregory VII. (Hildebrand) ; the 
heaven-defying court of William Rufus ; the un- 
christian hatreds and homicides of later mediaeval 
Italy ; the life and surroundings of Pope Alexander 
VI., and the licentiousness of the Italian Renaiss- 
ance ; the forlorn state of the archdiocese of Milan 
when St. Charles Borromeo took possession ; the 
antagonism of rival orders in the face of a common 
foe, with such disastrous results, for example, in 
England and Japan ; the heartrending testimony 
of missionaries that the scandalous lives of 
Christians are the greatest of all obstacles to the 


spread of the faith. Even in lesser things there 
appears a continuity of abuse, and we might think 
the Fathers were living in the days of Chaucer, 
when St. Jerome and St. Gregory of Nyssa bear 
witness to the abuses mingled with the use of 
pilgrimages, and when St. Chrysostom rebukes 
the superstitious use of amulets in Antioch and 
Constantinople, though himself enthusiastic in the 
rightful veneration of the relics of the martyrs 
and the wood of the Holy Cross. 

Section XLIX. 

And then through all centuries we shall be 
troubled and confused by the distressing antagon- 
ism of laxity and rigour, unless indeed we have so 
grasped the key of the golden mean, that even 
this obstacle is unlocked, and we see how the very 
antagonism, man being as man is, and truth as 
truth is, forms a witness to the Church. 

Indeed her writers point out that this antagon- 
ism was foreshadowed on Calvary, and that there 
the petty jealousies and miserable disputes which 
were to come, the lack of concord and charity 
among believing Christians, such dislocation yet 
without fracture of the mystical Body of Christ — 
all was signified by the racking and stretching of 

the Real Sacred Body, yet with no bone broken. 

11 * 


But the historical fact remains that all through 
Christian history to this day we can trace two oppos- 
ing characters within the Church, both of them far 
from sharing her spirit of sweetness and sanctity. 

On the one side we see those who exalt opinions 
into dogmas, state truths in the most paradoxical 
form, stretch principles till they are close upon 
snapping, love to exaggerate decisions of the 
Church till these appear to the imagination, not in 
their genuine import, strictly guarded, carefully 
applied (in the endless special cases of the con- 
crete), but in monstrous proportions ; as though no 
tenderness was to be shown to weaker vessels 
(who often in spite of much learning are weak 
because ill-educated) ; and as though it were zeal 
and fervour, not false fervour and fanaticism, to 
trample on the little ones of Christ. 

This false fervour exaggerates all things, doctrine 
and practice alike, ritual and austerity ; loves to 
differ from others, and to thrust before them an 
image of God without His beauty, but rather the 
wild and puerile fancies of their own half-converted, 
half-cleansed and less than half-humbled souls ; 
and thus lacking the gravity and tranquillity of the 
truth, they bring piety into disesteem. 

From this false fervour spring the ill-prepared 
apologists who think ignorance can be made up 


for by declamation and vituperation, practising 
no forbearance, making no allowance ; extremists 
with portentous self-confidence, like the unhappy 
De Lamennais, who thought because there is truth 
in traditionalism it is the whole and only truth, 
and that because metaphysics alone can do little, 
metaphysics are unnecessary and worthless. 1 

And then, on the other extreme to the violent 
and rigorous, are the weak-kneed and worldly ; 
false moderation in contrast to false fervour. 2 
They forget that for a man to give himself up to 
the spiritual life is to be out of harmony with the 
world around him, that those who realise the in- 
visible world have a different standard from the 
votaries of earth. They think reasonable the 
world's narrow code of prudence and discretion ; 

1 See The Rambler, vol. x., 1858, pp. 70, 118 et seq. ; Tyrrell, Faith of 
the Millions, ii., pp. 85, 86 ; and for various examples of the violent 
spirit, the chapter on the " Catholic Revival and the New Ultra- 
montanism " in Wilfrid Ward's W. G. Ward and the Catholic Revival, 
pp. 117, 123. Mark three points in which their exorbitance was 
rectified from Rome : first, the defence of the Classics in clerical 
education by the encyclical of March, 1853, against the Abb6 
Gaume's attack on them ; then, the condemnation of traditional- 
ism by the Holy See in 1855 ; and thirdly, the tempered definition 
in 1870 of Papal Infallibility. 

2 Examples from the eighteenth and nineteenth centuries are 
admirably depicted in Wilfrid Ward's Life of Cardinal Wiseman, 
chaps, vi., xvii. and xxiv. On the theory of these Christians see 

the chapter "What it is to have a Creator " in Faber's The Creator 

■•nd the Creature. 


are infected with its hostility to spiritual direction, 
to mortification, to Church authority. Concession 
and compromise are on their lips, to meet the 
world half way, to disavow unpopular beliefs, to 
lack loyalty to the Holy See, to think lightly of 
the majesty of the Church, to appear to the world 
as men of sense and intelligence. It is not they 
who have vanquished the mean, ungenerous, selfish 
spirit of our nature " which at the very first rumour 
of command, places itself in opposition to the 
superior who gives it ; asks himself whether he is 
not exceeding his right, and rejoices in a moral 
and practical matter to commence with scepticism ".' 
It is they who not in the generous years of youth, 
but in the egotistical self-importance of middle 
life, become malcontents, out of harmony with the 
Church, and ready (in theological language) to 
sacrifice the supernatural to the natural, the passive 
to the active, the infused to the acquired, minimis- 
ing the incomparable efficacy of the Christian 
sacraments ; and thus a sour, captious, querulous 
old age may be the end of a life that started with 
fairest promise. 2 

1 Letter to the Duke of Norfolk, § 5. 

2 To bring back to the centre these unhappy beings was the 
life-work of Newman and Faber ; two men far apart in many lesser 
things and externals, yet united in the main thing. And though 
it was chiefly the violent with whom Newman had to contend, and 


In view of so many failings are we to falter in 
our faith ? Or to join those who cry out in deri- 
sion : Is this the glorious Church of Christ ? — this, 
His Bride without stain or wrinkle, holy and 
immaculate ? — this, the heavenly Sion, the home 
of joy and peace? And indeed the narrative may 
be so woven by a skilful hand, that without stray- 
ing from the nominal truth, the history of the 
Church may be made to appear a chronicle of 

Section L. 

Nevertheless these very scandals, if once again 
we look below the surface of things to the depths, 
if we seek the testimony not of partial but of total 
fact, if we remember our theological principles — 
these very scandals in the Church are a witness to 
her divinity. 

Now one first principle to grasp is this, that 
"Faith is illuminative not operative; it does not 
force obedience, though it increases responsibility ; 
it heightens guilt, it does not prevent sin ". 1 And 
thus though faith remains, charity may have fled, 
knowledge can exist without love, and the things 

Faber with the lax, vainly would the lax seek to find countenance 
from Newman or the violent from Faber. Both have been my 
guides; and those familiar with their works will recognise in the 
text above little more than their words interwoven. 
1 Anglican Difficulties, Lecture ix. 


unseen, though still believed, may attract no 

Given then the fallen state and corrupt inclina- 
tions of man, given the high standard of duty 
exacted by the Church, given the doctrine of our 
incessant need of reiterated grace, of the life-long 
struggle placed before every soul, given the impli- 
cation of frequent falls by the provision of such 
abundant means of recovery — so potent a spiritual 
apparatus for raising the fallen — given all this, we 
must then expect to see among the faithful a 
constant conflict of good and evil, incessant 
alterations upwards and downwards among in- 
dividual Christians, a presumable tendency of all 
bodies and institutions to decline and be perverted, 
and their need of periodical recall to the principles 
of their origin. Nature is not destroyed by grace, 
and all the natural dispositions and intellects with 
their several infirmities are found inside the 
Christian pale as well as outside: "the weak and 
the strong-minded, the sharp and the dull, the 
passionate and the phlegmatic, the generous and 
the selfish, the idle, the proud, the sceptical, the 
dry-minded, the scheming, the enthusiastic, the 
self-conceited, the strange, the eccentric ; all of 
whom grace leaves more or less in their 
respective natural cast or tendency of mind. 


Thus we have before us a confused and motley 
scene, such as the world presents generally ; good 
and evil mingled together in all conceivable 
measures of combination and varieties of result." 1 
There is moral confusion in spite of the prevailing 
intellectual apprehension of the truths of faith and 
the rules of conduct. 

The Church must indeed pay the penalty for her 
title of Catholic, in particular by enduring in her 
fold an abundance of dissension. She cannot 
avail herself of the natural bonds of union that 
come from a common nationality, common civil 
government, common sentiments on daily be- 
haviour, common tastes or recreations, literature 
and art ; or again from a common party spirit or 
a community in privileges jealously guarded 
against the outside world. She has to forfeit 
these particular and natural links because of her 
supernatural and universal claims. She is formed 
of a miscellaneous crowd that nature would speedily 
scatter and that grace alone unites. 2 The marvel 
is not that there are dissensions among the faithful, 
or that even St. Paul had indignantly to ask : "Is 
Christ divided ? " but that there is overruling unity. 

Nor can the Church select her subjects and 
discriminate in the class or culture or nationality of 

1 Anglican Difficulties, Lecture ix. 2 Ibid., Lecture x. 


her converts ; all have the one unquestionable 
title, a soul to be saved ; they have but to knock 
and the door must be opened ; and no lack of 
courtesy, gentility, learning, good antecedents, are 
a bar to receive the ministrations of her who holds 
in her hand the chalice of salvation, and in virtue 
of that precious charge, whatever else she may be, 
must remain the Church not only of the ill- 
mannered and coarse-minded, but of the criminal 
and the outcast. And this too she must needs be 
in order to be assimilated to her Divine Archetype 
who took on Himself the burden of man's disgrace 
and guilt ; and she must journey through the 
centuries bearing as the heaviest of her trials and 
the greatest hindrance to her success the daily 
shame of her unworthy members, and be well con- 
tent if she can save at their death those who have 
been a disgrace to her during their life. 

Moreover from the very first the All Holy 
Church has known full well the conditions of her 
earthly pilgrimage, and it has ever been her formal 
doctrine that she includes sinners among her mem- 
bers, weeds among the wheat not to be rooted out 
till the Domesday harvest ; that her net is to gather 
in not good fish only but bad ; that the foolish 
virgins no less than the wise come to meet the 
Bridegroom ; that there is woe to those by whom 


scandal comes, but come indeed it must. We are 
only yet on the road — in via ; the goal is not yet 
reached ; the ideal not yet attained ; the Church is 
not a congregation of the perfect, but a training 
school of the imperfect ; J and to mistake the Church 
Militant for the Church Triumphant is an heretical 
anachronism. Indeed the Church has formally cast 
forth as heretics the Novatians and Donatists of 
the old time, and the Lollards and Lutherans of 
the later time, who held that bad men are not 
members of the Church but only the predestinate. 2 

Further, from her very nature and very claims 
we must expect examples of great wickedness 
within her fold ; if a Christian can rise incompar- 
ably higher than an alien to the faith, he can also 
fall lower ; corruptio optimi pessima : the best 
becomes the worst. 

Finally the very teaching on asceticism and un- 
worldliness (explained in the third chapter) implies 
the likelihood that the richer classes — by necessity, 
as we have seen, the comparatively few— will be 
in habitual rebellion ; the men of business will not 
endure her teaching on fair dealing, nor a gilded 
youth her austere morality. 

'Well explained by the Rev. E. R. Hull in his controversy in 
1904 with the Parsees of Bombay, and reprinted as Theosophy and 
Christianity, London, Catholic Truth Society, 1905. 

2 Present Position of Catholics, Lecture iv. 


Section LI. 

But do not these explanations after all only 
show that Christianity preaches a doctrine too 
difficult to be observed, loads us with burdens too 
heavy to bear, is pitched in too high a key for our 
voices to sing in harmony ? And indeed we might 
be tempted thus to think, and to abandon the law 
of Christ as too lofty for human endeavour, if we 
steeped ourselves in the details of evil-doing, and 
fed our imagination daily with the record of Chris- 
tian scandals. To provide such a detailed record 
is fondly thought by many to be a scientific, 
historical, meritorious provision of objective truth. 
Each single fact they narrate is true, each state- 
ment based on genuine documents. And all the 
while they forgot the warning of historical science 
that partial truth may issue in total error, that the 
quantity of our words telling of good and evil must 
be in suitable proportion to the relative quantity of 
actual good and evil, and the true individual facts 
when out of their place in the general scheme of 
things, when out of focus in our own minds, when 
out of proportion to the totality of facts, may be 
the greatest of falsehoods. When therefore for 
every three words written the threescore are left 
unwritten that are needed to set the three in their 


place, the readers, if ill-instructed and ill-prepared, 
will end by knowing less than they knew before ; 
they lose what they possessed ; their acquisition of 
knowledge, like a youth's first knowledge of licen- 
tiousness, is not a positive but a negative acquisition ; 
their minds are left laden with a balance of error, 
and their second state of ignorance is worse than 
the first. 

Now there are two great categories of fact, 
without which the scandals of Christianity can 
neither be weighed, measured or understood. 
The first is the actual practice of the Christian 
law in a multitude of homes, mostly but not 
exclusively rural and humble ; and the second is 
the heroic life of the great army of God's chosen 
servants. Therefore, lest I fall into the very 
fault I have just condemned, it is necessary, having 
spoken of Christian scandals, to speak again ; ne- 
cessary to add, as the avowed advocate of detailed 
historical fact, some reference to the particulars 
both of the ordinary Christian life and of the 

Section LI I. 

The ordinary daily life and habitual homes of a 
Christian people are indeed not easy to ascertain 
or to portray ; but we are fortunate in possessing 
ready at hand the great work of Frederic le Play 


(of nineteenth century economists second to none) 
who described with needful details in a series of 
monographs some sixty typical families of the 
working classes from one extremity of Europe 
to the other, as they appeared about the middle 
of the nineteenth century. 1 Many examples are 
"to be found among these where the Christian re- 
ligion is taught and practised in its integrity. 
Look at the Hungarian peasant family on the 
plains of the Theiss observed by Le Play in the 
year 1846 (vol. ii., chap, vii.) ; solid piety, religious 
education of children, purity of morals, not an 
illegitimate child in the commune, affection and 
care bestowed on children, respect for women and 
the aged, early but not premature marriages, pro- 
found reverence by children all their life to their 
parents. Look, again, at the German iron-smelter's 
family at Hundsrucke, near Coblentz, observed by 
Le Play in 185 1 (vol. iv., chap. ii.). Look at the 
Basque families of peasants and fishermen as they 
were to be seen in 1856 at St. Sebastian in Spain, 
or at Lavedan and Labourd in France (vol. iv., 
chap, vi., and vol. v., chap. v.). Look at that 
amiable Provencal family described by M. Focil- 

1 Les Ouvriers Europccns, published originally in 1855 ln a large 
folio volume. They were republished in six large octavo vols, in 
1879. The references that follow in the text are to this latter 


Ion in 1859, and typical of a whole class, half 
peasants in their native village, half workers in 
the soap factories of Marseilles, and whom the 
iniquities of French legislation, and the tempta- 
tions of a great city, had not been able to turn 
from reverence, from moral purity and domestic 
peace (vol iv., chap. viii.). Look at the crofter of 
Brittany visited by M. Duchatellier in 1851 (vol. 
iv., chap. vii.). Look at the family of Tuscan 
metayers as they were found by M. Peruzzi in 
1857 and, like a multitude of their fellow-peasants, 
living happy and secure, full of affection and re- 
verence, and honouring religion by the outward 
and inward practices of piety (vol. iv., chap, iii.). 1 
Come nearer home and consider the example of 
Ireland— Ireland let us say during the sixty years 
before the great famine — where a vast population 
in the sordid poverty that comes from the extreme 
of economic misrule, lacking literary or artistic 
cultivation, their religion shorn of its beautiful 
externals and accidental dignity by the hand of 
persecution, still in virtue of that religion, and by 
obedience to it, giving a shining example of Chris- 
tian family life, immorality unknown or scarcely 
known, reverence for parents and dutiful care for 

1 These illustrations are drawn from a previous work of the 
author now out of print, Studies of Family Life, 1886. 


brethren universal, and happy patience amid con- 
stant troubles — virtues so luminous, a practice of the 
Christian law so diligent, that by the mere example 
they drew to their faith an hereditary antagonist. 1 

Once more when the repute of Spanish America 
was perhaps at its lowest, and Mexico had suffered 
some fifty years of anarchy, an After-Christian 
traveller from America in 1869 was amazed at 
the universal excellence of Mexican family life, the 
reverence for parents, affection in the home, total 
absence of the precocious insolence and vice so 
familiar to him in his own land. 2 He declared that 
in the family circle they were models for the world, 
and was only mistaken in thinking their conduct 
strange and solitary, due to their nationality not 
to their religion. 

But indeed such family life was nothing new ; 
and let France, conspicuous to-day as the sad 
parent of the After-Christians, give an example from 
her happier past. Various sources, in particular 
those unpublished family records known as libri 
rationum or livres de raison, have been examined 
by M. de Ribbe in his book on the families of 

1 See Wilfrid Ward's Life of Aubrey de Vere, p. 183, on the con- 
version of Sir Stephen de Vere. It was almost as if the coolies of 
Assam or Guiana were to convert, by the spectacle of their virtues, 
an English tea-planter or sugar-planter to their faith. 
* Colonel A. S. Evans, Our Sister Republic, chap. xvi. 


France in the olden time. The inner life of the 
French homes has been laid before him, and he 
has found in the fifteenth, sixteenth and seven- 
teenth centuries a deeply religious spirit among 
rich and poor, filial piety, parental devotion, rever- 
ence to the mother and the widowed mother, the 
traditions of the past handed down from one 
generation to another, a family house for poor as 
well as rich, not a lodging or a tenement, cultiva- 
tion of the intellect among women as well as men, 
charity to the poor, edifying deaths, pious legacies 
(notably there were foundations in almost every 
village to enable poor girls to marry), wills a 
source of union, not of disputes and lawsuits, peace 
among brethren ; in a word, the Christian family. 1 
The pious home of France had its counterpart 
in Germany, and the details can be read for the 
fifteenth century in Janssen's, for the twelfth 
century in Michael's, histories of the German 
people. Moreover, the trade guilds of the fifteenth 
century and previous centuries reflect the spirit of 
contemporary family life ; immorality was a bar to 
admission ; the members were bound as though 
they were brothers, to mutual help, common wor- 
ship, and works of charity to the poor ; the wife or 
widow of a master was given a position of privilege 

1 Family Life, pp. 182, 183. 


and honour ; and fourthly, a fatherly care was taken 
of the apprentice, who became a member of the 
family, and for whose moral as well as technical 
training the master was responsible. 

Let this little be sufficient to show that those 
who say the common Christian virtues are beyond 
the common reach will find in history their con 

Section LI 1 1. 

Let us pass to the second category of fact, the 
heroic life of the great army of saints. And if 
we shrink from the task, we cannot escape it ; 
all too urgent are the commands of genuine his- 
torical science, that bids us, if it is with man's 
history that we are dealing, not to pass by the 
greatest of historical facts ; and if it is man that 
we are making known, not to hide the highest 
summits to which man has attained. There is no 
help for it ; and unless the secular history of these 
later ages is interwoven with Church history, and 
Church history is interwoven with hagiography, we 
had better close the historical record altogether ; 
for silence is better than falsehood, and a blank 
page better than a caricature. 

The great fact then is this, that the Catholic 
Church is the mother of saints ; that, from the 
very beginning of Christianity to this day, weak 


creatures, raised to participate in the Divine nature, 
have led a life of supernatural virtue, acting and 
suffering with faith, patience and love, all three 
superhuman, and crowning all with a death, 
sometimes by violence, sometimes in tranquillity, 
but always superhuman ; and decade after de- 
cade, through nineteen centuries, sometimes more 
numerous, sometimes less, but always present, 
have formed an unbroken golden chain, men and 
women, old and young, of all tribes and tongues, 
of all ranks of society, of all callings and occupa- 
tions ; some putting the seal to a life of innocence, 
some raised from an ordinary life, some rescued 
from a life of guilt ; amid every variety of circum- 
stance ; sorrow and failure being to some the 
occasion of sanctity, gladness and success to 
others ; a beautiful mosaic of souls of every con- 
ceivable pattern and complection of sanctity, 
making up the fulness of Christ ; l and while 

1 Tyrrell, Hard Sayings, pp. 419, 420. The same writer well 
rebukes the singular narrowness that has no good word for the 
contemplative life as distinct from the active ; when the very 
notion of the corporative life of the Church requires all kinds of 
sacred functions, the whole being perfected by the perfection of 
each part, and in this case requiring that some should be set 
apart (as a supreme privilege) for incessant worship and for a 
testimony to man's last and highest end. It follows that " St. 
Simeon Stylites in the desert was as actively a member of the 
Christian community as St. Paul ". 


some of them have born the yoke from their 
youth upwards, others have shot up at once to 
their high stature, fulfilling in a short space a long 
time, drawn all of a sudden into the irresistible 
whirlpool of Divine love, like the jailor or exe- 
cutioner or simple bystander converted by the 
sight of Christ's martyrs, and then and there 
unexpectedly enrolled in the white-robed army, 
marching with joy forthwith to torment and 
death, having drawn from the fountains in the 
home of the Mother of Grace, whither they have 
entered, the spirit of indomitable fortitude ; but 
however they have entered, how long or in what 
manner they have served, all alike in the one 
thing and the one thing necessary, all drawn by 
a personal love for a Crucified Redeemer, all aim- 
ing at that mystical union with God, the prelude 
and foretaste of that personal, self-annihilating, 
adoring, unchanging, eternal love in which alone 
our heart can find rest. 1 

Such in general is the great fact of heroic life ; 
the particular details can be gathered from the 
literature of hagiography, whence we can draw 
what is needful for the purposes of Church 

1 Tyrrell, Hard Sayings, p. 186; Faber, The Creator and the Crea- 
ture, bk. iii., chap. iv. ; Newman, Present Position of Catholics, 
Lecture ix., 6. 


history and of science. For if we set the facts 
in chronological order we shall have to pronounce 
that the phenomenon of heroic sanctity, amid the 
greatest variety of circumstances, is an invariable 
concomitant of the Church, not of one place indeed 
or one nation, but always present in some part of 
the Church and a perpetual witness to her super- 
natural character. 

Let us then glance in the briefest and most 
fragmentary of surveys at the great reality. 

Section LIV. 

The innumerable martyrs of the first three 
centuries, in all parts of the Roman Empire — who 
can forget them, or their sweet-tongued poet 
Prudentius ? Then followed in quick succession 
the multitudinous band of Egyptian hermits, and 
the great Fathers of the Church in East and West 
alike, showing there was no divorce between the 
gifts of intellect and the gifts of faith. And if in 
some measure there came peace to the Church 
within the Roman Empire, there raged in Persia, 
beyond her south-eastern borders, an appalling 
persecution. Then came the barbarian invasions, 
but no break in the history of sanctity ; and a new 
phase of holy living can be traced in the monasteries 
of St. Basil in the East, St. Benedict in the West, 


and St. Columba in the North ; while far away, 
all unexpectedly, the pagan dream of the Islands 
of the Blest seemed to take solid form in Ireland 
and then England, before the Danish devastation, 
as Islands of the Saints. A little later, with the 
fresh bloom of Europe, came the Saints of the 
Middle Ages, Gregory VII., and Anselm, and 
Bernard, and Bruno, and Thomas of Canterbury ; 
then the mighty thirteenth century, with saints 
numbered by thousands who followed in the track 
of Dominic and Francis ; and even in the latter 
and sadder times the golden chain is still unbroken : 
Bridget of Sweden and Catherine of Siena brighten 
the dark days of Avignon ; and Thomas a Kempis 
in the North, and in the South Bernadine of Siena 
and Antoninus of Florence turn to sweetness the 
bitter draught of the fifteenth century. And our 
own England ? Whose pulses do not beat quicker 
as the time draws nigh when we see what men can 
do and what men can be, and when we read the 
acts of the protomartyrs of the new persecution ; 
of John Fisher, Thomas More, the London 
Carthusians, the Observant Friars ; their stead- 
fastness amid defection, their clear minds amid 
confusion, their ardour amid coldness, their en- 
durance amid faintheartedness ? Truly the annals 
of sanctity amid human darkness are like sparks 


running to and fro among the reeds and ever and 
anon lighting up a brilliant flame. Such a flame 
illumined the whole world in the later sixteenth 
and earlier seventeenth centuries ; names in all 
men's mouths, such as Francis Xavier, Philip 
Neri, Teresa, Francis of Sales, Vincent of Paul ; 
and a renewed army of martyrs, conspicuously 
those in England, the noblest trophy of the 
Elizabethan age, and the immense multitudes who 
shed their blood for the faith in Japan, where the 
persecution almost surpassed in atrocity and in 
glory the persecution by Pagan Rome. 1 

The eighteenth century came, a sorrowful time, 
when the forces of evil seemed to overpower the 
forces of good ; and yet a century illuminated, not 
by the lurid glare of Voltairian " enlightenment " 
or German Aufklarung, but by the pure flame of 
Christian devotion, by the martyrdoms in China 
counted by tens of thousands at the beginning of 
the century, and by the copious martyrdoms at the 
end during the French Revolution, as of the 
sixteen Carmelite nuns of Compiegne singing 
together sweetly as they were led to the scaffold, 
the youngest novice first ; and the sound not 
ceasing but only becoming weaker as the voices 

'See the details from authentic sources given by Fr. H. 
Thurston in The Month, April, 1905. 


became fewer, till the Prioress last of all was slain 
and the song was silenced. These latter years 
of the eighteenth century matched well with the 
earlier ; and the years between were adorned with 
the bright supernatural lives (to name no others) 
of Grignon de Montfort, Alfonso Liguori, and 
Paul of the Cross. 

Nor has the nineteenth century failed us, but 
even now from the yet imperfect record can show 
her muster roll of heroism : simple parish priests 
like the Cuv6 of Ars or his contemporary John 
Baptist Guarino ; laymen and lay women like the 
young workman Nunzio Sulprizio of Naples or 
Anna Maria Taigi of Rome ; founders of con- 
gregations like Mother Barat or Don Bosco ; a 
crowd too large to enumerate, who have added to 
the old religious orders a new lustre ; bishops like 
Lawrence Imbert in 1839, and a goodly band of 
priests who in Annam, China and Corea have laid 
down their lives for their faith, 1 mingling their 
blood in those lands with the blood of many 
thousands of native Christians, who have shown 
themselves of the same dauntless race (to a^a-^ov 

1 See Cardinal Steinhuber's article in the Stimmen aus Maria- 
Laach January 1905, based on the work Catalogue ac status 
causaram beatificationis Servorum Dei et Beatorum canonizationis, 
Romae 1901. 


yivo%) in whom St. Chrysostom fourteen centuries 
before could rejoice. 

And within the limits of Europe itself during 
the nineteenth century a vast roll of statistics can 
be compiled on sufferings for the faith : the pillage 
and slaughter that befell the monks and friars in 
Spain in the thirties ; the persecution in Switzer- 
land in the forties ; the martyrdoms under the 
Commune in Paris ; the persecution in Germany 
in the seventies, called with unconscious irony 
the struggle for intellectual civilisation — Germany 
whence many hundreds of priests and some 8,000 
women, devoted to good deeds, were driven, with- 
out even the form of a trial, into exile ; where 
many of the clergy, bishops among them, were 
cast into prison, and hundreds of parishes lay long 
with none to minister to the needs of souls. 

But all these things are less appalling than the 
recurrent and ruthless persecution in the East of 
Europe, Lithuania and Poland under Russian 
rule, renewing in the nineteenth century the work 
begun by the Empress Catherine in the eighteenth ; 
hundreds of thousands of Catholic "Uniates" 
forcibly registered as Schismatic " Orthodox," 
and then forbidden to practise the Catholic re- 
ligion under pain of fines, of imprisonment, of 
scourging, of seeing their children torn from them, 


of being sent to the living death of Siberia. Nay, 
the persecutor has not shrunk from inflicting the 
tortures of a lingering death, witness the piteous 
annals of the mines of Siberia ; witness the acts of 
the Polish nuns of Minsk, dying under the scourges, 
or slowly drowned as they were dragged after a 
boat through the waters, rather than abandon 
their faith. 

Better now can we understand the words of the 
Creed, bracketed as the ninth article in the 
Catechism, "I believe in the Holy Catholic Church, 
the Communion of Saints ". Better now can we 
understand how the Church, though the Church of 
sinners, is yet holy : holy in potentiality, in many 
cases holy in act, in all cases aiming at the holy 
supernatural life, and leading to it; exhibiting 
sanctity inchoate and in the process of making, ever 
directed towards an ideal to be reached at last, 
the sanctity undimmed of the Church Triumphant. 

Section LV. 
Vae soli, woe to him who stands alone, is a 
sociological as well as a scriptural maxim. It is 
needful in all the sciences to make use of the 
previous accumulation of knowledge, and not our- 
selves start afresh or stand apart, but rather 
follow the consensus of experts. Still more in 


spiritual things it is not for each man to find out 
all by himself, or take his own separate and sub- 
jective experience as the test of truth. Rather 
we must make use of the treasures of spiritual 
labour and experience that have been accumulated 
in the past, and not stand apart from spiritual 
experts, the Saints who in virtue of their sanctity 
have been the chief ministers of the Divine Spirit 
by whom the dogmas of the Church have been 
unfolded. For those best know the doctrine who 
best live the life. 

We must then hold fast to continuity of dogmas 
and hierarchy ; we must hold fast to fellowship 
with all the Saints ; sanctity being inextricably 
entwined with faith and obedience ; without dogma 
there are no Saints ; without Saints there is no 
union with God. 1 

It is the unwilling mission of all error to minister 
in the service of truth ; and " things evil have a 
soul of goodness that we may observingly distil it 
out". The unsuspected unwitting recognition of 
the all-importance of heroic sanctity — this is the 
soul of goodness to be distilled out of the repulsive 
philosophy of the German Frederick Nietsche. 

'The foregoing has followed chapters v. and ix. of Tyrrell's 
Lex Orandi and the remarkable review of that book under the 
heading "A Grammar of Faith," by the Rev. Herbert Lucas in 
The Tablet, 16th April, 1904. 


For he proclaimed that the supreme task of 
mankind was to produce the Uebermensch or 
Super-man, the grand and lawless being above and 
beyond good and evil. In this he was only 
partially wrong. For the temple he built for the 
monstrous Uebermensch belongs rather to those 
who have shown themselves, in the truest sense, to 
be men. And these are the Christian saints ; 
these "the choicest flower, the richest fruit of 
humanity, . . . who like Christ have gone forth 
in all ages and peoples as sheep in the midst of 
wolves, self-sacrificed victims to the cause of 
God, . . . who have sown in tears that others 
might reap in joy, . . . who have laboured hard 
and long that others might enter quickly and easily 
into the fruit of their labours ", 1 

To produce Christian saints is the supreme task 
of mankind ; and it is for each poor wanderer to 
utter as his supreme cry : Let my lot be with the 
saints and my end like theirs ! 

1 Lex Orandi, chap, v., p. 29. 



Section LVI. 

We have counted as the seventh antinomy that 
the Church upholds and yet opposes religious 
freedom or liberty of conscience. 

To offer the alternative of conversion or the 
sword is a Moslem not a Christian practice. Much 
rather " the Church takes anxious care that none 
be compelled unwillingly to embrace the Catholic 
faith ; for no man, as Augustine wisely warns us, 
can believe unless he is willing to believe". 1 In- 
deed the incongruity is obvious between faith as 
the gift of God, and force as the work of man ; and 
it is a fundamental claim of the Church to demand 
liberty of conscience. Only let us understand 
what is meant by conscience and what is meant 
by liberty. 

Now as opposed to the materialistic or panthe- 

1 Leo XIII., encyclical Immortale Dei, given in Denzinger's En- 
chiridion, n. 1737. 



istic answer to man's questionings, the theistic 
answer proclaims a Divine law as the rule of 
ethical truth, and the standard of right and wrong ; 
the Divine reason or will commanding the obser- 
vance of the natural order of things, an order that 
itself is from God. The impression or light of this 
Divine law in the minds and hearts of rational 
creatures is what is called in Christian theology the 
natural law. " This law, as apprehended in the 
minds of individual men, is called ' conscience ' ; 
and though it may suffer refraction in passing into 
the intellectual medium of each, it is not thereby so 
affected as to lose its character of being the Divine 
law, but still has, as such, the prerogative of com- 
manding obedience." 1 Hence it is never lawful to 
go against our conscience : it claims to be a Divine 
voice speaking within us, and telling us that this or 
that is now to be done or not to be done, and 
demanding, not in a speculative matter but in our 
present conduct, a dutiful obedience. The particu- 
lar dictate may be mistaken ; conscience may be 
(as it is called) erroneous ; but yet it is to be 
obeyed. It is a spiritual and invisible influence too 
subtle for science, too profound for literature ; in- 
dependent of the powers of the State. It is the 
aboriginal Vicar of Christ ; and even though the 
1 Letter to the Duke of Norfolk, § 5, on " Conscience ". 


eternal priesthood throughout the Church could 
cease to be, still in the voice of conscience the 
sacerdotal principle would remain and would have 
a sway. 1 

And if the application of force can neither 
awaken nor lay to rest the sense of right and 
wrong, the consciousness of transgression, the 
pangs of guilt, the dread of retribution, that are 
first principles in religion, still less can it touch the 
love that is a first principle of the Christian religion. 
As Christians we boast that a personal love of 
God is the very substance of our spiritual life ; and 
we are taught to beg that our union with God and 
with our brethren may be like to the ineffable love 
and union of wills that subsist eternally between 
the Persons of the Divine Trinity. How can any 
earthly magistrate touch this region of mysterious 
affection ? How can love be enkindled by external 
compulsion ? 

Section LVII. 

Conscience then indeed and a religion of love 
must be free. But what is freedom or liberty? 
Not the false liberty that is, so to speak, an artificial 
determinism, surrendering our own will to the 
domination of the strongest motive and becoming 

''■Letter to the Duke of Norfolk, § 5. 


the slave of passion ; not the false liberty that 
recognises no supreme rule of a moral law, no 
Creator above us, but claims as a right to think, 
speak, write, act according to its judgment or its 
humour without any thought of God at all ; and 
claims for each man " to be his own master in all 
things and to profess what he pleases, asking no 
one's leave, and accounting priest or preacher, 
speaker or writer, unutterably impertinent, who 
dares to say a word against his going to perdition, 
if he like it, in his own way ". 1 

This is mere lawlessness, the irrational freedom 
of the wild beast. This is the freedom "by which 
the luxurious mean licence, and the reckless mean 
change ; by which the rogue means rapine and the 
fool equality ; by which the proud mean anarchy 
and the malignant mean violence ". 2 This is " the 
very spirit of Whiggery : opposition for its own 
sake, striving against the truth because it happens 
to be commanded us ; as if wisdom were less wise 
because it is powerful". 3 This is the liberty of 
which Dr. Johnson said : "We are all agreed as to 
our own liberty, we would have as much of it as we 
can get ; but we are not agreed as to the liberty of 

1 Letter to the Duke of Norfolk, § 5. 

2 Ruskin, Seven Lamps, vii., § 2. 

3 Newman's Letters, ed. by Anne Mozley, p. 269. 


others : for in proportion as we take, others must 
lose". 1 This is the liberty meant by Rousseau 
when he says in his Contrat Social : " Man is born 
free, and yet everywhere is in chains ". 

Much rather the sober definition of liberty in 
the social and political sphere is the being un- 
hindered in the exercise of our rights and the 
practice of our duties. But rights and duties are 
meaningless without law ; and human law is in- 
coherent if not resting on Divine law. Therefore 
Divine law is the needed foundation not merely 
of internal conscience but also of external liberty. 
Wisely then it has been said by Coleridge : 
"What then is freedom? Rightly understood, a 
universal licence to be good." So Montesquieu : 
" Political liberty does not consist in a man doing 
what he wishes, but in being able to do what he 
ought to wish ". So Boetius twelve centuries 
earlier : " To be obedient to justice is the very 
height of liberty ". So George Eliot in the mouth 
of the preacher in Felix Holt : " I apprehend. that 
there is a law in music, disobedience whereunto 
would bring us in our singing to the level of 
shrieking maniacs or howling beasts : so that 
herein we are well instructed how true liberty can 
be nought but the transfer of obedience from the 

l BoswM's Life of Johnson, ed. Napier, iii., p. 375. 


will of one man or of a few men to that which is 
the norm or rule for all men ". 

Everything human indeed can be abused ; but 
human law in its use as distinct from its abuse is 
not the opponent but the protector of liberty, men 
being subject to this law precisely because they are 
free and reasonable beings, not irrational automata. 
By human law the rights and duties of men in 
society (and we have to deal with no other men) 
instead of being confused and imperilled are made 
clear and secure ; and they are thus enabled to live 
more easily in agreement with the rule of reason 
and the law of God, and to fulfil the very object 
for which they are on earth. 1 

Hence it is a misconception to complain of the 
multitude of modern laws as a diminution of our 
liberty. If they are a diminution, it is not because 
they are laws or because they are multitudinous, 
but because they are mistaken or ill-executed ; and 
if with the growth of population and the change in 
the methods of industry, the area of restraint is 
enlarged, this enlargement is precisely to protect 

1 " Igitur in hominum societate libertas veri nominis non est in 
eo posita ut agas quod lubet, ex quo vel maxima existeret turba 
et confusio in oppressionem civitatis evasura, sed in hoc, ut per 
leges civiles expeditius possis secundum legis aeternae praescripta 
vivere." — Encyclical Libertas praestantissimum of Leo XIII., June, 


the liberty of good citizens by the restraint of evil- 

Now, madam, may his highness live in freedom, 
And this man out of prison ? 

Thus for over fifty years the law of England 
has forbidden women to work in underground 
mines, and thereby has made a salutary addition 
to the restraint of covetousness, and a salutary 
addition to the liberty of womanhood. Again, 
the law of Germany effectively forbids the common 
practices by which usurious money-lenders inveigle 
men and women to their ruin ; and the law thereby 
has made a salutary addition to the restraint of 
evil-doers and to the liberty of the German people. 

If this is the true conception of law and liberty, 
it follows that the rights of conscience, like other 
rights, can claim protection ; and that a wise 
legislation will increase the area of restraint in 
order to increase the area of liberty. If it will not 
suffer the defenceless public to be robbed of their 
material goods, but puts restraint on thieves ; so 
too it will not suffer the defenceless public to be 
robbed of their moral and intellectual patrimony, 
but puts restraint on deceivers, lest a nation's 
greatest asset, the fundamental truths of faith and 
morals, of justice and society, be whittled away by 



Section LVIII. 
And here once again we see that Holy Church 
through good report and evil report has shown 
herself the true friend of the common people ; and 
when men murmur against the Index, denounce 
the Inquisition, and spit, like a recent enlightened 
traveller from America, on the tomb of Torque- 
mada, they forget that the Church is primarily 
for the poor, the weak, the unlearned and the 
simple. It is for those described in a recent con- 
troversy as " large popular audiences whose inno- 
cence is such that to deceive them is like deceiving 
a little child," and as "that big fateful child, the 
public, to whom above all maxima debetur rever- 
entia"} To preserve to these, the much greater 
part of society, the incomparable goods of pure 
morals and the true faith, goods that (as we have 
seen) even in this world are to them the source, 
and indispensable source, of happiness — to prevent 
this defenceless multitude from being robbed of 
their supremest patrimony — what man with any 
soul of honour or sense of humanity who would 
not draw his sword for their preservation? 

Religion's all or nothing; it's no mere smile 
O' contentment, sigh of aspiration, sir- 
No quality o' the finelier tempered clay 
Like its whiteness or its lightness ; rather, stuff 

1 The Times, 24th Oct., 1904. 


0' the very stuff; life of life, and self of self. 
I tell you men won't notice. When they do, 
They'll understand. 1 

No wonder therefore when the Church has been 
raised to a position of earthly power, when the 
rulers of the world have knelt at her feet and 
asked for her guidance, she has implored them to 
protect her little ones from scandal, to preserve 
her tender sheep from the ravening wolves. No 
wonder that she has ever been on the watch 
against lawless literature which appeals not to 
argument and reason and fact, but to imagination, 
to curiosity, to the sense of honour, to the sense of 
beauty, to the sense of ridicule, which insinuates, 
seduces, declaims, inflames, carries captive — that 
the Church is on the watch lest so versatile an 
agent should cause that which is not true to pass 
under the name of truth. 

No wonder again that she emphatically bids 
men ol science take "great care to avoid scandal 
or shocking the public mind or unsettling the weak ; 
the association between truth and error being so 
strong in particular minds that it is impossible to 
weed them of the error without rooting up the 
wheat with it '\ 2 

1 These verses of Robert Browning are aptly prefixed to Fr. 
Tyrrell's profound volume Lex Orandi. 

2 Idea of a University, Lecture on "Christianity and Scientific 
Investigation ". 


And against reckless hypotheses that may or 
may not be ultimately established as truth, against 
half truths or premature truths that in the present 
context are the parents of falsehood, she bids her 
children be on their guard, and fights with the 
best weapons she is able ; and again no wonder. 
For not to her does the multitude appear as a 
field for the experiments of men of science, a 
corpus vile for their vivisection. It is not her 
voice that will ever consent to sacrifice the welfare 
of the many for the benefit — even if it be the 
benefit — of the few. 1 And thus the few, those 
strong and superior beings who are immune from 
common ignorance and corruption, for whom the 
exhibition of vice is no allurement, for whom the 
dissection of putridity is no danger, who can read 
anything and hear anything without harm, whose 
intelligence is above the risk of deception, whose 
imagination never overpowers their reason, whose 
judgment is never swayed by prejudice still less 
distorted by passion, these winged and chosen 
mortals must perforce be tolerant with the parapets 
and balustrades and fences and walls and sign- 

1 See Wilfrid Ward in the Epilogue to his Life of Cardinal 
Wiseman, ii., 552, 553. He well explains how in defence of the 
highest truth the Church has not hesitated to make " temporary 
inquisitorial incursions on critical and physical science as practic- 
ally dangerous to the faith of the multitude " — Ibid., p. 548. 


posts and danger posts that compassionate au- 
thority has set up for us, the unwinged, ill-equipped 
and stumbling multitude. 

Section LIX. 

As a matter of history the divorce of religion 
from the State may be termed an After-Christian 
invention ; for the theory if not the practice of the 
Fore-Christians may be summed up in the maxim 
that the first care of the State should be the 
service of the Gods. 

And it has appeared the obvious duty and has 
been the habitual practice of Christian Governments 
to restrain what seemed to them the mischievous 
propagation of error, and at the least not to allow 
(to use the words of a once famous pamphlet) "a 
perfectly free course to blasphemy, filthiness and 
sedition". 1 

Not to all, but to many, of those who have 
rebelled against the unity of the Church, one or 
more of these ill-sounding names have been appli- 
cable ; and in any case the early Church was 
unanimous in regarding heresy and apostasy as 
extreme wickedness. It is not surprising then 
that the Roman State, when it passed from being 
a persecutor to being a neophyte, endeavoured by 

'Gladstone's Vaticanism, p. 28. 

2oo key to the World's progress 

laws to repress the mischief brought by false teach- 
ing to the Church and the Empire. " As the 
Donatists, after the Synods of Rome and Aries, 
as well as after their trial by Constantine, did not 
submit, but persisted in their defiant demeanour 
and deeds of violence, the emperor issued in 316 
a severe edict, depriving them of their churches, 
confiscating their property, and banishing the 
most stubborn of their leaders. After the Council 
of Nicsea, in 325, he pronounced banishment upon 
Arius and two bishops of his party. Further, the 
immunities of the clergy were limited to Catholics, 
heretical assemblies were forbidden, heretical writ- 
ings sought out and destroyed. Theodosius pub- 
lished an edict, in which he threatened heretics, 
required from all his subjects an acknowledgment 
of the Nicene Creed, deprived the Arians in Con- 
stantinople of their Churches, which he gave to 
Catholics, and in 381 forbade heretics to possess 
churches or hold divine worship in the cities. 

" Laws still more severe were subsequently en- 
acted against the Manicheans, against whom an 
edict had been issued by the [pagan] emperor Dio- 
cletian, a.d. 296, on account of their excesses and 
their immoral doctrines, condemning the leaders to 
be burnt and their followers to decapitation or loss 
of property. Theodosius declared the Manicheans 


to be infamous and incapable of inheriting or of 
making wills ; those amongst them called Encra- 
tites were to be punished with death. The Pre- 
torian Prefects were to appoint inquisitors — the 
name first appears here — to discover and prosecute 
them." x 

There was no question on the principle of such 
laws being right, no scandal at the civil power 
doing what appeared its obvious duty. St. Au- 
gustine indeed had thought differently, but rea- 
soning and experience, as he tells us, brought him 
to a complete change of his view ; and the Roman 
law has enshrined in the Theodosian code the 
maxim that what is done against Divine religion is 
an injury to all. 2 

And this principle was a juridical commonplace 
for more than a thousand years and proclaimed 
anew in the eighteenth century by Blackstone 
when he declared: "All moral evidence, all con- 
fidence in human veracity, must be weakened by 
irreligion and overthrown by infidelity. Where- 
fore all affronts to Christianity, or endeavours to 
depreciate its efficacy, are highly deserving of 
human punishment. " Nay in the earlier years of 

1 Hergenrother, Catholic Church and Christian State, English 
edition, ii., pp. 301, 302. 
*Ibid., pp. 304, 305. 


the nineteenth century a Chief Justice of England 
pronounced that Christianity was the law of the 
land ; and Dr. Arnold for all his ante-sacerdotalism 
could not endure the thought of the admission into 
Parliament of Jews and avowed unbelievers in 
Christ. 1 

Section LX. 

But a complete change of opinion has swept 
over the world ; the doctrine of religious tolera- 
tion, imperfectly promulgated by Locke, has been 
held to be a fundamental acquisition of modern 
thought ; that no theological doctrine is more than 
an opinion which happens to be held by bodies of 
men ; that liberty of conscience means the right 
of every man to reason and judge on religious 
matters without any interference on the part of 
any earthly authority ; that consequently the civil 
power has no positive duty to maintain religious 
truth ; while every educated and reasonable man, 
as opposed to a blind fanatic, should be tolerant of 
the opinion of others, a Christian above all, who 
professes to be charitable in his judgments of 
others, and humble in the estimate of his own 

So steeped is public opinion in this view, so 

1 W . G. Ward and the Oxford Movement, p. 378. 


overpowering the dominion of this portion of the 
spirit of the age, so grave the charge of intolerance 
against the Christian Church that a reasonable 
discussion of fact and opinion is scarcely possible. 
It has indeed been pointed out wisely and well that 
the matter of toleration must be viewed historic- 
ally, circumstances having utterly changed since a 
tribunal of intolerance could serve as a bulwark of 
the Church directly, and of the Christian State 
indirectly ; that many of the heretics of early and 
mediaeval times were worse than the worst social- 
ists, anarchists, or secret societies of modern times, 
and were propagators of horrible immoralities, and 
always threatened and often executed sacrilege, 
plunder, violence and slaughter against true Chris- 
tians, and were totally destructive not merely of 
the existing but of all social order ; that the Church 
has made a clear distinction between formal or 
wilful heretics, and material or unwitting, between 
initial rebellion and hereditary antagonism ; that 
the sphere for the latter has in later years been 
greatly increased ; that rights and political powers 
acquired by dissidents in a Catholic country have 
been, and are to be, respected ; that civil and 
political toleration does not imply dogmatic toler- 
ation ; again, that compared with the lay tribunals 
of former times the contemporary procedure and 


punishments of ecclesiastical tribunals were rational 
and humane ; that the Church had to restrain the 
severity of lay courts and lay opinion in dealing 
with heretics ; that the Spanish Inquisition in 
particular, though by no means a mere department 
of State, was used at times as an instrument of 
State to secure the imperilled national unity of 
Spain, its severity being highly displeasing to the 
Holy See, whither flowed when possible both fugi- 
tives and appeals ; that the prevention or suppres- 
sion of all kinds of immorality and of criminal 
magic were among the main functions of ecclesi- 
astical tribunals ; that by any fair standard of 
comparison the treatment of heretics and likewise 
of Jews in the centre of Christendom has been con- 
spicuous by mildness ; that if there have been, and 
there is no denying it, many abuses, these are 
common to all institutions where power is in the 
hands of man, a chronic infirmity of all govern- 
ments ; and that the abuses of ecclesiastic courts 
are as nothing to those of the civil courts. 

But to point out these historical considerations 
avails little against the tyranny of a first principle 
in favour of religious toleration, and rejecting any 
sort of religious restraint. This has become a 
popular dogma ; it is taken to be plain common 
sense ; of the truth of it each individual is still 


more sure because it is not merely his own opinion, 
but the opinion of nearly every one about him (like 
the opinion in the Carolinas in mid-nineteenth 
century on the rightfulness of negro slavery, or 
in Manchester and Birmingham on the incontro- 
vertible fitness of free trade ; or among the higher 
classes, the men of letters and manufacturers of 
Great Britain on the folly and mischief of trade 
unions). Such popular dogmas cease to be opinions, 
are taken for truths, and the opposite opinions are 
looked upon as impossible and absurd. 1 

Hence while this state of mind continues, any 
detailed account of the history of religious restraint, 
though every fact be verbally true, issues in a 
practical accumulation of falsehood, because it has 
become a practical accumulation of scandal ; and 
our wearied reason yields before the incessant 
suggestion of the imagination that all is ignorance, 
superstition, folly and injustice. It is as if we 
had to describe the daily life of London or Paris 
to a vegetarian community among whom it was a 
first principle that to take animal life for the sake 
of food was intrinsically immoral. For our portrait 

1 Thus in the sixties so popular and respected a writer as Rus- 
kin was held to be writing sheer nonsense when in a popular 
magazine he challenged some of the dogmas (now abandoned) 
of the current Political Economy; and a prudent editor stopped 
the articles abruptly. 


of those cities would be horribly distorted by the 
imagination of our hearers. The most refined and 
honourable men and women, full of kindness and 
deeds of mercy, would appear no better than canni- 
bals, every meat salesman no better than a pur- 
veyor of human flesh, the details of rearing live 
stock, the course of the cattle trade, the sanitary 
regulations of slaughter-houses, the wages and pro- 
fits of the workers in the trade, all would be seen 
through a horrible medium of cruelty and blood. 

It is not otherwise with a community steeped 
in the doctrine that has deceptively taken the 
name of liberty of conscience, and claims unlimited 
toleration for all places and all times. They 
cannot receive an accurate narrative of fact — say 
of the religious laws of the Theodosian code in 
the fifth century, or the English anti-Lollard legis- 
lation of the fourteenth and fifteenth centuries, or 
the Roman Inquisition in the seventeenth. For 
all this would be seen through a distorted medium, 
and facts true in themselves would be changed by 
their passage through the mind of the recipients 
into a repulsive caricature. 

So even were this the place for historical de- 
tails, give them I would not. That enlightened 
traveller to the tomb of Torquemada, of whom I 
have spoken, must first abandon his mistaken first 


principle before he can understand the records of 

Section LXI. 

For indeed this first principle of universal tolera- 
tion, this dogma of undogmatism, which so warps 
our judgment and overpowers our understanding, 
far from being an established truth, cannot be 
carried out in its integrity without leading us to 
social dissolution. In the postscript to his reply 
to Gladstone's attack on the Church, Newman 
set forth the legitimate conclusions of Mill's Essay 
on Liberty as follows : " No immoral doctrines, 
plays, poems, novels, conduct, acts, may be visited 
by the reprobation of public opinion ; nothing must 
be put down, I do not say by the laws, but even 
by society, by the press, by religious influence, 
merely on the ground of shocking the sense of 
decency and the modesty of a Christian com- 
munity. Nay, the police must not visit Holywell 
Street, nor a licence be necessary for dancing 
rooms ; but the most revolting atrocities of heathen 
times and countries must for conscience' sake be 
allowed free exercise in our great cities. Averted 
looks indeed and silent disgust is admissible against 
them, but nothing of a more energetic character." 1 

1 Letter to the Duke of Norfolk, Postcript to § 6, 


Mill indeed, as the great master pointed out, is 
not to be charged with having advocated these 
conclusions ; but they followed from his argument, 
and they are the inevitable issue of the undog- 
matic principle and the theory of toleration. And 
the reason is this ; the evidence for the first 
principles of morality and order, and for natural 
religion, are no less obscure, even obscurer, than 
those for revealed religion ; they can just as easily 
and with equal plausibility be argued away ; and 
every theoretical halting place on the downward 
slope is but an illogical compromise, but a slippery 
foothold. Conscious or subconscious scepticism 
is the major premise of theoretical toleration, 
whereas, in the words of Prof. Graham, "con- 
vinced men if they have the power must persecute 
unless they discover that persecution may defeat its 
end ". Hence the man without " the will to perse- 
cute" (he should have written "the will to repress 
mischievous error ") is a man without convictions. 1 
Locke, himself a pioneer of " toleration, " is com- 
pelled to make exceptions so wide that at least 
three-fourths of Christendom would have been 
excluded from his indulgence. 2 And in our 

1 English Political Philosophy from Hobbes to Maine, " Essay on 
Locke ". 

2 He excluded firstly "opinions contrary to human society or 
to those moral rules which are necessary to the preservation of 


own days, when other matters are under discussion 
and for a moment the Index and Inquisition are 
forgotten and men speak out their mind, patience, 
persuasion and public opinion are held as old- 
fashioned liberalism, ridiculed as a " Quaker-like 
mind," and it is openly proclaimed to be the duty 
of Liberals to be intolerant towards the actively 
intolerant and those who would undermine all 
reasonable liberty. 1 

But reasonable liberty may simply mean my 
liberty as opposed to your liberty ; it may mean 
the liberty which the After-Christian classes in 
Germany asserted in their furious campaign against 
the Lex Heinze that would have bridled im- 
morality — the liberty for Zola and Ibsen and 
Hauptmann and D'Annunzio ; it is the liberty 
described above in the third chapter from the 
pages of St. Augustine, the unrestrained self- 
such society " ; secondly those who arrogate to themselves peculiar 
prerogatives, opposed to the civil rights of the rest, e.g., those who 
uphold that "dominion is founded on grace" ; thirdly those who 
will not teach and practice toleration or who give themselves up 
to another prince ; fourthly all atheists. On these principles there 
would have been no toleration for Catholics, for Orthodox Greeks 
and for many zealous Protestants, notably American Puritans, all 
disqualified under the third head. In modern times, apart from 
disqualifications under the fourth head, almost any doctrine could 
be " persecuted " under the elastic provision of the first head. 

1 See the letter in The Times, 26th Nov., 1904, from its Vienna 



indulgence, moral and intellectual, of the few, based 
on the degradation and servitude of the many. 

Section LXII. 

But the Church, claiming illumination from a 
Divine teacher, is without hesitation or inconsist- 
ency. It is no inconsistency to recognise a change 
of circumstances, nay her very profession is to adapt 
herself to them all. Now whenever de facto a 
number of different religions dwell intermingled, 
we need a modus vivendi for the sake of social 
peace. In some cases absolute equality of social 
position and political rights may be the most 
suitable constitution for the composite society ; in 
other cases the reverse, and inequality suitable ; 
a mosaic of different rights and privileges, to be 
compared to the mosaic of rights in the British 
Empire, wherein 400 million human beings are 
bound together with amazing inequality according 
to race, colour, language, locality and religion. 1 
Moreover, the technical revolution in the means 

1 Compare, for example, two substantial tradesmen, one an 
Englishman at Oxford and another a Hindu at Benares. Forty 
pages would not suffice to explain the diversities of the legal and 
social position of the two ; the Englishman having a voice in the 
management and taxation, and free of the run, of the Empire ; the 
Hindu with lifelong disabilities in both respects ; but in local 
government the Hindu in no worse, perhaps in a better position 
than the Englishman ; and his religion protected not penalised. 


of transport, in the methods of industry, in the 
provisions for warfare, which have rendered this 
great empire possible, have caused such an 
intermingling of mankind, such incessant contact 
among members of various religions, that to pre- 
serve in any large country the unity of religion is 
rarely possible, or only possible at the cost of 
evils even greater than the breach of unity. In 
practice therefore there is need of a compromise ; 
the State indeed ought to have a conscience. " But 
what if it happens to have half a dozen, or a score, 
or a hundred in religious matters each different 
from each ? ... No government could be formed 
[in England] if religious unanimity was a sine qua 
non ". 1 To preserve indeed as much enforcement 
of the moral law and of simple theism as a sickly 
social body can endure, has become a pressing duty 
of government among European races if they are 
not to be swallowed up in the gulf of social dis- 
solution, and see their heritage pass to Fore- 
Christian hands. But the duty is difficult to fulfil 
even for the most Christian of rulers ; and to 
restore in Europe and America the ancient union 
of Church and State seems a hopeless task " unless 
Providence interposed by an effusion of Divine 
grace on the hearts of men, which would amount 

1 Letter to the Duke of Norfolk, § 6. 
14 * 


to a miracle and perhaps would interfere with 
human responsibility "} 

But toleration of evil is not approval, and the 
supreme principles, which Christianity proclaimed 
from the first, no new circumstances in our mode 
of life, no new discoveries in physical science, no 
new analysis of man's reasoning process, can alter 
one whit. Therefore with our lot cast in the midst 
of those to whom the world seems 

a darkling plain 
Swept with confused alarms of struggle and flight, 
Where ignorant armies clash by night, 

let us hear the words of our Master, the doctrine 
of light and order set out face to face against the 
doctrine of darkness and confusion : — 

" That there is a truth then ; that there is one 
truth ; that religious error is in itself of an immoral 
nature ; that its maintainers, unless involuntarily 
such, are guilty in maintaining it ; that it is to be 
dreaded ; that the search for truth is not the grati- 
fication of curiosity ; that its attainment has nothing 
of the excitement of a discovery ; that the mind is 
below truth, not above it, and is bound, not to 
descant upon it, but to venerate it ; that truth and 
falsehood are set before us for the trial of our 
hearts ; that our choice is an awful giving forth of 

1 Letter to the Duke of Norfolk, § 6. 


lots on which salvation or rejection is inscribed ; 
that ' before all things it is necessary to hold the 
Catholic (aith ' ; that ' he that would be saved 
must thus think,' and not otherwise ; that, 'if thou 
criest after knowledge, and liftest up thy voice for 
understanding, if thou seekest her as silver, and 
searchest for her as for hid treasure, then shalt 
thou understand the fear of the Lord, and find the 
knowledge of God,' — this is the dogmatical prin- 
ciple, which has strength. 

" That truth and falsehood in religion are but 
matter of opinion ; that one doctrine is as good as 
another ; that the Governor of the world does not 
intend that we should gain the truth ; that there is 
no truth ; that we are not more acceptable to God 
by believing this than by believing that ; that no 
one is answerable for his opinions ; that they are 
a matter of necessity or accident ; that it is enough 
if we sincerely hold what we profess ; that our 
merit lies in seeking not in possessing ; that it is 
a duty to follow what seems to us true, without 
a fear lest it should not be true ; that it may be 
a gain to succeed, and can be no harm to fail ; that 
we may take up and lay down opinions at pleasure ; 
that belief belongs to the mere intellect, not to the 
heart also ; that we may safely trust to ourselves 
in matters of Faith, and need no other guide — this 


is the principle of philosophies and heresies, which 
is very weakness." 1 

These things being so, who among us would 
so cower with belated terror, as to leave the stead- 
fast rock, to surrender the principle of strength, 
and to give himself over to the principle of weak- 
ness, at the very moment when the weakness is 
growing daily more evident among the After- 
Christian populations, grasping at present pleasure, 
craving for excitement, abounding in negations, 
failing in convictions, uncertain in opinions, terrified 
at pain, shrinking at sacrifice. Are we to yield 
to men like these, and not rather, forgetting any 
present weakness, to stretch forth our hands with 
joyful hope towards the future ? For the future 
belongs to the children of the martyrs not to the 
children of Voltaire. 

1 Development of Christian Doctrine, chap. viii. , § i. 


Section LXIII. 

We have counted as the eighth antinomy that 
the Church is one and yet Christendom has ever 
been divided. 

The unity of the Church is perhaps of all her 
characteristics the most important and august. In 
the solemn and effectual prayer of her Founder it 
is made the very note and evidence of her divin- 
ity : " I pray for those also who through their word 
shall believe in Me ; that they all may be one, as 
Thou, Father, in Me and I in Thee ; that they also 
may be one in Us ; that the world may believe 
that Thou hast sent Me ". And the apostle amid 
his bonds exhorted his converts to be true to their 
vocation, to be one body and one spirit as became 
those who confessed one hope, one Lord, one faith, 
one baptism, one God and Father of all. Here is 
a principle fundamental and unchangeable ; there 



were not to be two Churches and two Christs, but 
one ; not two folds and two shepherds, but one. 

And unity being thus made the very evidence of 
Divinity, it is not surprising that those who chose 
for themselves a separate doctrine or separate 
authority, leaving the straight path of orthodoxy 
and obedience, were regarded by the faithful with 
the utmost horror as involved in the extremity of 
wickedness. They were as those who wilfully 
obscured the light of the sun in the heavens ; they 
were held and denounced as the ministers of 
Satan ; and the strongest epithets to show ab- 
horrence of them have Scripture warrant. 1 For 
they made a breach in that order which the 
providence of God had placed in the world to be 
the special witness of His handiwork ; and by 
darkening the light of the one faith and one 
Mediator, darkened the evidence for the unity of 
God. They sought to render and tear the mysti- 
cal body of Christ, the Church being recognised 
as the body of which Christ was the head. 

For us in these present days it is difficult to 
grasp the repulsion felt by the early Christians 
towards heresy and schism — we, from whom the 
supernatural gifts (charismata) of the early Church 

1 2 Corinth, xi. 13, 15; Galat. i. 9; 1 Tim. i. 10, 11, 19, 20, iv. 1, 2 ; 
% Tim. ii. 16, iii. 8, 13 ; 2 Peter ii. r, 3, 10 ; 2 John 7 ; Jude 8, 12, 13. 


have long since departed ; we, to whom the 
spectacle of great bodies of heretics and schis- 
matics has become familiar ; we, among whom it 
is the exception and not the rule that heresy or 
schism is the responsible act of the individual 
dissident, not an irresponsible inheritance ; we, to 
whom the good life and pious deeds of our separ- 
ated brethren are often accurately known ; we, 
who gladly grasp at the welcome possibility that 
only in name and appearance are they outside the 
membership of the visible Church, but in reality 
are invisible members. Yet deliberate and formal 
breach of unity remains what it was, even to 
this day ; and against its authors and abettors 
the Church ceases not and will never cease to 
pronounce her anathema. 1 Only mark, it is 
she herself and none other, her own corporate 
voice and none other to speak the words of repro- 
bation ; nor may her individual children, un- 
authorised and unbidden, attribute self-deceit to 

J As this book is only for candid readers it is scarcely needful 
to point out, that doctrinal disputes among the children of the 
Church, and their diversities of theological views, rather make 
stronger than weaker the unity of the Church, and are no breach 
of it. For they involve agreement in the common doctrines of 
faith, on which each bases his own contention; just as litigation 
implies the principles of law and the prevalence of order without 
which a decision could neither be reached nor enforced. See the 
whole matter treated in Anglican Difficulties, Lecture x, 


their fellow-men, or wilful blindness, or diabolical 
delusion. 1 

Section LXIV. 

But the notable fact remains, that the light of 
the Church through nineteen centuries has been 
obscured, sometimes more, sometimes less, but 
always obscured by a persistent mass of heresy 
and schism. The true Church is like a brilliant 
star that yet in her sublime orbit through the 
heavens has been incessantly accompanied by a 
cloud of varying dimensions and density, borrow- 
ing its light from her rays, and interposing between 
them and this lower earth a nebulous screen, so 
that they reach us as the feeble illuminations of 
the cold and misty north rather than as the strong 
sunshine of the south. 

Already (in Part I.) I have spoken on the fact 
and its fitness, that in Divine things we live under 
the law not of sight but of search. So it has been 
from the beginning of the Christian record, under 
the old law as well as under the new. False pre- 

1 So Pius IX. in his allocution of December, 1854, explained how 
" it is held as certain that those labouring under invincible ignor- 
ance of the true religion are not in this matter blameworthy in the 
eyes of God. And who is the man so presumptuous as himself to 
lay down, according to national, local or personal character and a 
host of other circumstances, the limits of this ignorance ? " — See 
the original in Denzinger's Enchiridion, n. 1504. . 


tences are ever found that deceive at first sight, 
confuse the evidence, perplex the inquirer, false 
miracles, false prophets, specious schisms, a temple 
not on the holy hill of Jerusalem alone, but also 
on mount Gerizim, specious counterfeits, seducers 
who must be plausible or they could not seduce, 
ravening wolves who could not enter were they 
not clad in sheep's clothing, the repeated uprising 
of "bold plausible, imposing counter-claims on the 
part of error". 1 " From the first the Church was 
but one Communion among many which bore the 
name of Christian, some of them more learned, 
and others affecting a greater strictness than her- 
self". Hence by an historical induction we con- 
clude that, taking men as they are, corruptions of 
the Gospel are a necessary phenomenon, no less 
than its total acceptance or total rejection ; and 
that " large organised, flourishing, imposing com- 
munions, which strike the imagination as necessary 
portions of the heritage of Christ," may yet be 
corporately reprobate, as being corporately in- 
volved in heresy or schism, and as a body not 
gathering with Christ but scattering abroad, 
without part in the Redeemer, albeit the in- 
dividual members even by thousands or tens of 

1 Anglican Difficulties, Lecture xi., whence is drawn much that 


thousands may be invisibly united to Him, and 
invisibly standing within the one sacred fold. 
Such simulacra or phantom Churches were the 
Donatists with 400 episcopal sees, and the Nova- 
tians whose stern discipline stretched from Rome 
to Scythia, from Spain to Asia Minor, and the 
multitudinous Gnostics who for long held the 
great St. Augustine under the spell of their seem- 
ing wisdom, and the Arians who reigned over 
Gaul and Iberia and Africa and Italy, till the 
days of Gregory the Great, and the Nestorians 
who for centuries had all further Asia to them- 
selves, besides their establishments in hither Asia, 
and the Monophysites in Syria and Egypt (great 
centres of population and intelligence before the 
Mahometan blight), and the Greek schism, that 
cut off from the Church the most learned and 
wealthy of her subjects, and the Albigenses who 
culled the first-fruits of the new reign of culture 
and riches in the fairest regions of Europe, and 
the vast if ill-united bodies of Lutherans and 
Calvinists, and the two Churches, that having 
identified themselves with two vigorous nations, 
the Russian and the English, have grown with 
their growth and made the national triumphs their 

And besides these imposing claimants for re- 


cognition as part of Christ's Church, smaller sects 
almost innumerable have sprung up age after age ; 
and a great book would be needed merely to 
register briefly the names and chief tenets of the 
many dissidents from Catholic unity. 

Section LXV. 

Here is a wide field for pathological study, to 
trace the causes and development of these morbid 
growths ; not to be appalled by their multiplicity, 
nor confused by the manifold diversity of their 
surroundings, as Syria in the fourth century, Pro- 
vence in the twelfth, or Great Britain in the 
twentieth ; and to classify all heretical and schis- 
matical varieties on some intelligible principle. 

In general they mark a departure from the 
golden mean of Catholic teaching. The heretical 
spirit falls into excess on one side or on the other ; 
leaning in practice either to rigorism or to laxity ; 
and in theory laying too much stress on some par- 
ticular doctrines, too little on others, " it being 
almost a definition of heresy that it fastens on some 
one statement as if the whole truth, to the denial of 
all others, and as the basis of a new faith ; " 1 thus 
distorting both what it holds and what it rejects, 

1 Oxford University Sermons, Sermon xv. 


as neither can be understood without the other. 
It takes one aspect for the whole aspect, as though 
a mere part was intelligible without the whole. 

Hence we find the hallowed doctrines of 
Christian faith distorted into a thousand caricatures. 
All the weaknesses of our fallen nature, all our 
manifold passions, all the varieties of self-deceit, 
applied to Christian truths can act each as a mirror 
of distortion ; every man is in potentiality, though 
not in act, a heretic, some part of him intolerant 
of certain spiritual truths ; so that a keen-sighted 
spiritual physician could pronounce, not that he 
would fall, but that if he fell, he would fall in one 
particular direction rather than in another. And 
the same inclination towards a particular fall, each 
man towards his o-vfjb^vTov kcxkov, may apply to 
bodies of men as well as to individuals, and may 
render particular points of discipline or doctrine 
uncongenial to particular nations at particular 
stages of their development. Even apart from 
this, the miserable antagonism of nationalities, 
their mutual scorn or antipathy, one main obstacle, 
as we saw in the fourth chapter, to the spread of 
the Gospel, is a dangerous occasion of religious 
dissidence ; and often a heresy or schism has 
behind it the assertion of nationality against the 
despised or envied or hated foreigner — so of Copts 


against Greeks, of Byzantines against Franks, of 
fourteenth century Czechs against Germans, of 
nineteenth century Germans against Czechs, of 
Russians against Poles. 

Then in the recondite realm of spiritual theology, 
if the interior is disunited from the exterior, or the 
one is dwelt on to the neglect of and depression 
of the other, the material for heresy is at hand. 1 
So the Jansenistic doctrine that perfection (a 
perfection that is on the Index) consists in doing 
what we dislike, 2 that our affections and passions 
will never be brought to like the things of God or 
be in harmony with grace. This ancient and Puri- 
tanical abhorrence of the sense-world as radically 
evil and hostile to the spiritual life, and the 
opposite (Monophysite) error that confounded 
Nature with Spirit, external with internal — both 
these extremes were excluded by the true 
Christian spirit "which teaches us that Nature is 
the instrument of our healing as of our hurt : 
' Peccat caro ; mundat caro '. Unconquered and 
blindly obeyed, Nature stands as an impenetrable 
barrier between man and God ; conquered and 
brought under the will, it becomes the organ of the 
divinity, the channel of communication between 

1 Faber, Growth in Holiness, chap. xi. 

2 Ibid., chap. xiii. 


spirit and spirit ; not merely symbolising but 
effecting what it symbolises." 1 

Again, instead of the golden mean of the Church 
between instability and immobility (to be treated 
in the next chapter), heresy and schism fall into 
the extremes. Thus many heresies are those of 
impatience, the work of men who claim to know 
better and wish to advance faster than the au- 
thorities of the Church ; 2 anticipating prematurely 
what the Church is about to say, and saying 
it incorrectly, so that it is changed into a grotesque 
foreshadow of true statements that are to come 
when the time is at last ripe for the new enun- 
ciation of an old truth. So Tertullian, and again 
Sabellius, tried of themselves to correct the 
errors that the Church was to correct later ; 
and fell into heresy as the consequence of their 
attempt. So the Gnostics anticipated the intel- 
lectual theology of St. Irenseus, St. Athanasius, 
and St. Augustine ; and marred it by their anticipa- 
tion. So Apollinaris was beforehand in the work 
of St. Cyril and of the Council of Ephesus ; and 
beforehand to his own ruin. So Abelard, pre- 
mature and self-willed in his novelties, could not 
separate the dross from the ore, and went wrong 

'Tyrrell, Lex Orandi, chap. xxi. 

2 Rickaby, Development, 1905, pp. r6, 56. 


with the very instrument of scholastic philosophy 
that was to be turned afterwards, under the guid- 
ance of the Church, to such glorious issues. 1 And 
once more the beautiful austerity of St. Francis 
and his followers can be traced in unsightly anti- 
cipation among the penitential but heretical 
Montanists. 2 Not as though truth varied with the 
times ; but our aptitude for understanding and 
expressing the truth varies ; to be untimely is in 
a sense and in effect to be untruthful, and to be 
one whom it is the duty of those in authority to 
silence. 3 

On the other hand we find heresies lagging 
behind, rejecting development, clinging to an 
obsolete discipline that may be a present heresy, 
harping back from the living present to early ages, 
and by a fossilised antiquarianism converting the 
Church into a Record Office of ancient decisions, 
incapable of facing any new questions. 4 So the 
Britons clinging to the obsolete rule of Easter, the 
Lutheran appeal to the early Church, the Jansenist 
and "Old Catholic" appeal to Christian antiquity. 

But why dwell further on these and other morbid 
conditions, on the uncertainty and endless variation 

1 Newman, Historical Sketches, " Rise of Universities," chap. xvi. 
2 Development of Christian Doctrine, chap. viii.,§ 1. 
8 Apologia, chap, v., p. 259, edit. 1865. 
1 Rickaby, Development, pp. 16, 48, 72. 



of heretical doctrines, the continuous tending to 
split into independent bodies unless restrained by 
the hand of the State, their one common bond 
being hatred of the Church as their one common 
antagonist, the common target of their vituperation. 
For these features have already sixty years ago 
been traced by a master hand. 1 

Section LXVI. 

Let this alone be still added, one more instance 
of marvellous distortion. For even the character- 
istic attitude of the Church, as the calm centre and 
golden mean between opposing errors, has not 
been exempt from caricature ; and the specious 
appearance of a via media has been made a mask 
for heretical latitudinarianism. This variety of 
theological error has borrowed from practical 
politics the methods of compromise, mutual con- 
cession, give and take ; admirable in practical 
politics where all is involved in the concrete, every 
case a special case ; but inadmissible in science or 
theology — like interposing between the extremes 
of Ptolemy and Galileo a via media, that the 
earth goes round the sun from Mondays to 
Wednesdays, and the sun round the earth from 

1 See Development of Christian Doctrine, especially chap, v., § a 
and chap, vi., § n. 


Thursdays to Saturdays, and on the Sundays 
alternately. So the Catholic doctrine is taken (by 
an extreme misrepresentation) as an extreme on 
one side, and some heretical doctrine like that of 
Arius — bold, keen, stern and violent Arius — on 
the other side, and a mean taken between them, 
like Semi-Arianism (or Eusebianism), a compro- 
mise dear to the civil power that desires peace 
at any price, that lacks understanding of the point 
at issue, that holds to dogmatic truths so loosely 
as to be ready to accept or modify or abandon 
them to suit any present convenience — even the 
fundamental truth that Christ is ever and was ever 
'truly God. But from the very nature of the case 
such benevolent neutrality is impossible ; to admit 
nine-tenths of Catholic doctrine as true is all-un- 
availing if one-tenth is to be abandoned as 
erroneous, and an infallible Church forced to 
admit her fallibility. " Not to submit to the 
Church is to oppose her, and to side with the 
heretical party ; for medium there is none." 1 

So this specious error alike in the fourth century 
of the Semi-Arians, in the fifth of the Monophy- 
sites, in the seventeenth of the Anglicans, is marked 
by the same characteristics ; "the drama of religion 
and the combat of truth and error were ever one 

1 Anglican Difficulties, Lecture xii. 


and the same". The Church in each case "might 
be called peremptory and stern, resolute, over- 
bearing and relentless ; and heretics were shifting, 
changeable, reserved and deceitful, ever courting 
the civil power, and never agreeing together, 
except by its aid ; and the civil power was ever 
aiming at comprehensions, trying to put the in- 
visible out of view, and to substitute expediency 
for faith ". l 

Thus in this kind, as in all other heresies, the 
human spirit can be discerned at war with the 
Divine ; man asserting against God his own self- 

Yet after all, however accurate the psychological 
and historical study of these morbid growths, the 
mere knowledge of how all has come about is 
scarcely more consoling than to know amid the 
afflictions of illness the causes and medical diag- 
nosis of our complaint ; and we are still stricken 
with grief at the multitude and persistence of those 
who remain in dismal twilight or outer darkness. 
Some of this trouble is irremediable, being indeed a 
part of the general problem of evil ; why the whole 
world is not yet Christian being as much a problem 
as why the whole of Christendom is not yet Ca- 
tholic ; we must humble ourselves before a mystery, 

1 Anglican Difficulties, Lecture xii. 


before the fact of darkness being in some way the 
inseparable concomitant of light, before the fact 
of evil being in some way the pre-requisite and 
counterpart of good. 

But still some of our grief at the division of 
Christendom can be lessened by duly appraising 
the disaster. 

Section LXVII. 

Let us then remember that the multitude out- 
side the visible unity of the Church are no homo- 
geneous body, but comprise the greatest variety in 
doctrine, ranging from those who scarcely hold 
any Christian belief (like the Manicheans of old 
or the Unitarians of to-day) to those who hold the 
greater part of the Christian creed (like the 
Greek Church of the eleventh century or a por- 
tion of the Anglican Church of to-day). And in 
personal characteristics we see still greater diver- 
sity — from apostates and heresiarchs, like Julian or 
Arius, arch-foes of Christ, to the simple-minded 
Christian, living up to his lights, like the Arian 
Visigoth in the middle of the sixth century or the 
Puritan New Englander in the middle of the 
eighteenth century. A stream may issue from 
an upland city foul with manifold impurities and 
repulsive to the very sight ; but let it flow through 


miles of woodland and meadow, and with each 
mile it loses more and more of its foulness ; it 
cannot recover indeed the unsullied freshness of its 
mountain source, but at least has become clear 
and clean. And thus immense populations may- 
live in the realms of disunion and yet peacefully 
garner much of the harvest of the Christian faith ; 
and if the glorious road of supernatural sanctity is 
not to be trodden by their feet, they can at least 
walk in the commoner way that leads to salvation, 
all the more easily if they preserve, as eighty million 
Russians have preserved, the Christian sacraments. 
Nor have unappointed judges any right to limit, 
according to their fancy, the uncovenanted mercies 
of God, or to restrict the exuberant numbers of 
those who bear the appearance of aliens or even 
of enemies to God's Church, but in reality are her 
invisible members — invisible on earth but visible 
from on high. 

And lest we be lost in generalities and fail to 
grasp what sort of home life can be reached by 
imperfect Christianity, let us turn once more to Le 
Play's great collection of monographs, 1 and read the 
account by MM. Coronel and Allan of the fisher- 
men and crofters of the island of Marken in 
Holland in the year 1862 (vol. iii., chap. v.). 

1 Les Ouvriers Europeans, edit. 1879, in six vols. 


They were a church-going, bible-reading com- 
munity, the children given a religious education, 
parents receiving, with scarce an exception, respect 
and obedience, mothers devoted to the training 
of their children, illegitimate children rare, and 
the fault always repaired by the subsequent 
marriage of their parents. There was freedom 
of choice in marriage, mutual affection between 
husband and wife ; and divorce, though permitted 
by their civil law and by their Calvinist religion 
(they followed the Synod of Dordrecht of 161 8), 
was unknown in practice ; nay even second 
marriages were rare, for to continue in widow- 
hood was held a form of conjugal fidelity. The 
same simple observance of all the Christianity they 
knew, and the same happy and healthy family life, 
were to be found among the Lutheran lute-makers 
of the Erzgebirge in Saxony (vol. iii., chap, ii., § 
xxii.), and much good was to be found in the 
family life of the Lutheran Swedes in 1845 ( v °l- 
iii., chap, i.), of the Russian peasants in 1853 
(vol. ii., chap, ii.), and of the Bulgarians in 1848 
(vol. ii., chap. vi.). 

Nor was England, at least twenty years ago, 
without many examples of the Christian family, 
such as the household of the Shropshire small 
farmer (described in detail in The Nineteenth 


Century, Oct., 1884), church-going, God-fearing, 
bible-reading (a chapter read daily after the morn- 
ing meal), and displaying order, discipline and 
union. Such a family showed a character akin to 
that of those Dutch and Saxon peasants just 
named, and the character was Christian. Nay in 
all ranks, not merely in the healthier sphere of 
rural handwork, but amid the snares of wealth and 
of cities, who of us has come to the years of later 
life and has not gathered in his memory a garland 
of Christian lives, though they seemed to stand 
outside the one fold of Christ, or who has not 
exclaimed, as the sweet legend tells of Pope 
Gregory, non Angli sed Angeli? Truly there 
are fields white for the harvest, and if as yet there 
is no reaper, on whom is the blame to fall if not 
on such as ourselves, unworthy, dull and torpid 
members of a light-bearing life-giving Head ? 

Section LXVIII. 

Still when all has been said that can be said in 
reason to mitigate the horror of heresy and schism, 
there remains an irreducible minimum that would 
appal us, did we not see, as a merciful Providence 
allows us to see, the purpose for which they are 
permitted, and their almost necessary function to 


promote the life and vigour of the very Church 
they would destroy. 

Never has the action of man been so visibly 
over-ridden by the action of Providence ; never 
has the saying sic vos non vobis been more con- 
spicuously applicable ; never have captives laboured 
so hard to build the walls of fortress or palace for 
their captors, as these rebels have laboured all 
unwittingly to build up the walls of the new 
Jerusalem, the intellectual temple of God. In- 
stead of Christian doctrine being put forth from 
the beginning in all its fulness, and heresy and 
schism forestalled and precluded, they have been 
turned to good purpose to draw forth by their 
contradiction the conclusions of Catholic theology, 
and indicate the value of certain truths by their 
very opposition to them. Thus truths have been 
brought out one by one and fitted into their 
places ; one region of Christian doctrine after 
another has been lit up by a supernatural search- 
light ; and great dogmas, such as concern the 
Eternal Generation of the Word, the reality of 
the Sacred Humanity, the singleness of Christ's 
Person, the duality of His Natures, the glories 
of Mary for the sake of her Son ; or again 
touching Christ's Soul and Sacramental Flesh, 
His two Wills, His Church and the gifts of 


Grace — each in due course and in due time has 
been irradiated. 1 

In St. Augustine's words, no one would discover, 
for no one would discuss, unless roused by the 
blows of misrepresentation. For while heretics 
misrepresent, the little ones are scandalised. . . . 
Truth would not be sought so industriously had it 
no enemies to oppose it with falsehood. 2 And thus 
"Theodore of Mopsuestia, Julian of Eclanum, 
Calvin and Strauss, have not been without their 
usefulness. An able adversary, sincere in his error 
and skilful in maintaining it, is in the long run a 
boon to the cause of religion. The greatness of 
the error is the measure of the triumph of truth. 
The intellectual armour with which the doctrine 
of the Church is assailed becomes the trophy of 
her victory. All her battles are defensive, but 
they all terminate in conquest." 3 

Heresy and schism are therefore almost a con- 
dition of the Church's life, and for these seemingly 
unwelcome intruders we find in history their 
proper place and proper explanation. 

1 Discourses to Mixed Congregations, Discourse xvii., and Faber's 
Blessed Sacrament, bk. iii., § vi. 

"Serm. ad pop., lib. xi. s The Rambler, 1858, vol. x., p. 103. 



Section LXIX. 

We have counted as the ninth antinomy that 
the Church is ever the same yet ever changing. 

Historical study and archaeology have made the 
notion familiar to recent generations that past 
ages were profoundly different in their habits and 
ways of expression and thoughts from the present, 
and that to learn to understand them is as difficult 
a task as to acquire a new language or to learn to 
understand the ways and sentiments of a foreign 

To have established this truth, to have, so to 
speak, created the historical sense, is the glory 
of the German historical school of the early 
nineteenth century ; l to have ignored it in law and 
economics is the reproach of the English analytical 
school of jurisprudence (Bentham and Austin 

1 See Willmann, Geschichte des Idealismus, vol. iii., 1897, chap, 
xvii., on the Historical Principle. 



conspicuous among them), and still more of the 
English school of political economy that even to 
the seventies remained unhistorical. 

But then the very effort to correct an error in 
one direction impelled the historical school into an 
error in the opposite direction — so hard is it to 
keep the balance, so hard for a man daily occupied 
with upholding the relative character of human 
desires, beliefs, political and social constitutions, 
daily urging how they are variable according to 
race, education, traditions, knowledge, religion, 
climate and wealth, daily explaining that there 
are no hard and fast lines of division, but a con- 
tinuous transition from one set of social actions to 
another, and that things generally are involved, 
mutually implicated and continuous — it is hard for 
a man daily occupied in this manner to recognise 
simultaneously that behind the relative there is the 
absolute, behind the variable there is the constant, 
behind the continuous there is the opposed ; and 
that otherwise all is chaos, and the sciences, histori- 
cal science among them, impossible. 

Once more then the doctrine of the golden mean 
is our salvation and one-sidedness our ruin. We 
have to do with change indeed (whether called 
yeWo-19, Werden, or evolution), but with some- 
thing more than change. We cannot understand 


the past if we have naught in common with the 
past. We cannot understand Homer if we hear 
not as he heard, or if the same sun that lit his world 
lights not ours. The ideal without the historical 
is indeed empty : but the historical without the 
ideal is blind. 1 We must avoid superfluous defini- 
tions, delusive clearness, greater precision than the 
subject-matter allows ; and in drawing lines we 
must take manifold care. But we must draw them. 
Else in our efforts to avoid formality and over- 
precision we efface all distinctions, become inco- 
herent, and can neither learn nor teach. It is 
difficult to name a precise moment when night-time 
has begun. Are day and night then indistinguish- 
able ? It is difficult to lay down clearly when a 
trade commission becomes dishonest. Is there no 
difference then between an honest man and a 
rogue ? The surroundings are of almost indescrib- 
able variety, but the same daily comedies and 
daily tragedies of human life are reproduced by 
the same human nature whether witnessed by 
Hammurabi, by Aeschylus, by Juvenal, by the 
Minnesingers, by Shakespeare, or by ourselves ; 
and the accidental diversity is linked together by 
essential similarity. 

1 See Willmann, Geschichte des Idealismus, p. 703, echoing 
Trendelenburg and Eucken. 


Section LXX. 

These elements of historical logic have been 
repeated that we may better understand how the 
Catholic Church is the same now as at any time, 
how she is of unchanged identity, and yet in 
appearance most different ; how she is rigid and 
yet flexible ; how she has been exposed to the 
opposite and plausible charges of changing, 
corrupting, augmenting by human inventions the 
Divine message, and yet of clinging obstinately 
to antiquated positions, unchangeable in error, a 
fossil amid living organisms. 

The explanation of these paradoxes is to be 
found in the theory of development of the doctrine, 
constitution and discipline of the Christian Church. 
Prematurely outlined in the fifth century by an 
obscure Gallic monk, Vincent of Lerins, the theory, 
though not unrecognised or contested, slept and 
could not but have slept for many centuries ; and 
although foreshadowed by Petavius and others 
in their efforts to meet the Protestant appeal to 
history, 1 it could hardly take shape and be worked 

1 J. Tixeront, La Theologit Ante-nicUnne (being the first volume 
of Histoire des Dogmas), Paris, 1905, p. 13. See also the Literary 
Notes in The Tablet of 14th September, 1904, for the text and 
translation of the passage on development in Blessed John Fisher's 
answer to Luther. 


out till first in secular science the historical method 
and spirit had gained a foothold. 

An age steeped in anachronisms, when for ex- 
ample Jerusalem was depicted by the Flemish 
painters of the fifteenth century as if it were a 
contemporary walled city of Flanders, or when 
the heroes of Greece and Rome appeared on the 
classical French stage duly attired with the wig 
and the robes of the time of Louis XIV. — in ages 
like these the theory of development was out of 
place and premature. Indeed we must admit the 
paradox that the only refuge for truth was in 
error ; for the erroneous notion that the Church 
in the early centuries was in appearance just like 
the existing Church — the Pope surrounded by his 
Cardinals, missions and retreats habitual methods 
of devotion, Easter confession and Communion 
the test of submission and allegiance — this outer 
coating of historical misapprehension preserved 
the essential truth that the Church of Gregory 
and Innocent was one and the same as the Church 
of the Fathers and of the early martyrs, identical 
with the Church of the Apostles, the one faithful 
witness of the one Christ, the one sure bulwark of 
the belief in an all-holy, all-wise and omnipotent 

But when the time came for historical studies 


to flourish, and anachronisms ceased to serve 
any longer any useful purpose, and documentary 
history showed a striking variety in the expres- 
sions of Christian doctrine, the methods of Church 
government, and the forms of Christian devotion, 
the man arose, by God's providence, to show that, 
as in other matters, so in the life of the Church, 
there was no divorce between nature and grace ; 
that the ordinary growth of natural societies and 
of human doctrines was not reversed or utterly 
changed in the case of the Christian Church, only 
supernaturally guided ; and that here also we must 
distinguish between constants and variables, be- 
tween immobility in dogma and progress in our 
apprehension of it, between objective truth and 
subjective knowledge, between the permanent or 
essential and the temporary or accidental, between 
changes as the outriders of growth and changes 
as the heralds of decay and dissolution. Need 
indeed there was to make these sovereign distinc- 
tions, and in a highly complex matter to beware 
of fatal indiscrimination. 1 

Then John Henry Newman in the great crisis 
of his life, his period of storm and stress, and to 
weather the storm, wrote his Essay on the De- 

1 Lagrange, La Methods Historique, pp. 124, 172, 173 ("d£fions- 
nous du bloc"). 


velopment of Christian Doctrine ; faced boldly the 
problems for which history demanded a solution, 
and upheld the grand thesis that the modern 
Catholic faith was not merely historically but 
logically the representative of the ancient faith, 
and that all the manifold changes from the day 
of Pentecost to that hour were not departures, 
undoings, corruptions, but the natural growth and 
lawful development of the idea of the Church, 
showing preservation of type, continuity of prin- 
ciples, logical sequence, the power of assimilation, 
its beginnings anticipating its future, its later 
phenomena being protective of its past, and itself 
vigorous in its action from first to last. 1 

At length the foundations were laid for a history 
of dogma that should be a true history because 
based on true methods and not on false presup- 
positions ; and by a timely anticipation the process 
was discovered whereby the young and vigorous 
trees of unregenerate history, like Prof. Harnack's 
History of Dogma, bringing forth only bitter and 
unwholesome fruit, could serve as stocks whereon 
to graft a germ that would bring forth the sweet 
and wholesome fruit of Christian science. 

1 Development of Christian Doctrine, chap. v. 



Section LXXI. 

I n popular language the account of the develop- 
ment of Christian doctrine is as follows : There 
are truths which are not upon the surface of the 
legacy of revelation made to the Apostles, " but 
which from time to time are brought into form by 
theologians, and sometimes have been proposed 
to the faithful by the Church as direct objects of 
faith ". They are not deduced in their fulness and 
exactness from the belief of the first centuries, but 
under the guidance of a Divine voice are " the new 
form, explanation, transformation or carrying out 
of what in substance was held from the first, what 
the Apostles said, but have not recorded in writing, 
or would have said under our circumstances, or if 
they had been asked, or in view of certain uprisings 
of error, and in that sense being really portions of 
the legacy of truth of which the Church ... is 
the divinely appointed trustee ". 1 

In other words, what has been said once is never 
unsaid, but said with more accurate definition, more 
completely, nearer the truth as it exists in the 
Divine mind ; so that we understand more clearly 
and can state explicitly what before was only held 
implicitly. The course of centuries must run 

1 Letter to the Duke of Norfolk, § 8. 


before all the bearings and consequences of a 
doctrine are perceived and adopted. Indeed it is 
precisely the work of Christian thought to take 
possession of the primitive data of revelation and 
illuminate, fertilise, unfold, co-ordinate them, with- 
out altering the substance or modifying the 
doctrinal foundation. From the outset the sacred 
doctrine started on its course of development : the 
Epistles of St. Paul, and the Gospel of St. John 
already display what may be called a development 
of the three Synoptic Gospels ; and to take a later 
example, the great conflicts of the third century 
regarding penitential discipline brought out clearly 
two dogmatic results — first, a more distinct con- 
sciousness in the Church of her power to pardon 
every sort of sin ; secondly, a clearer view that of 
this power the ecclesiastical hierachy was the sole 
depositary, and of its application the sole judge. 1 
Then on the eve of Arianism we can take stock of 
the points whither Christian doctrine had reached 
before the great crisis that was imminent had 
clarified many obscurities, dissipated many con- 
fusions, and shown the full consequences of many 
truths. For example, the famous word o^ooucrios 
was already known in part ; but it needed St. 

1 Tixeront, Histoire des Dogmas, La Theologie Ante-niceenne, 1905, 
p. 380. 



Athanasius to arise before it could be known in all 
its fulness. 1 

Thus the formula quod semper quod ubique quod 
ab omnibus, namely that a doctrine to be true must 
have been taught in the Church always, every- 
where and by all, is liable like many another 
formula to be perverted into a misunderstanding. 
" Dogma is not a set of dead crystallised notions, 
only the verbal setting of which can ever be 
changed, as though one were to move a collection 
of minerals from one case and rearrange them in 
another, but lives and thrives as an infant grow- 
ing to manhood — to the measure of the full stature 
of Christ (Eph. iv. 13)." 2 What was obscure at 
first, what was latent at first, what was germinal 
at first, had to be made clear in later times and 
explicit, and adult ; not all indeed or all at once, 
but whatsoever and whensoever it might seem 
pleasing to the Holy Spirit, whose presence — such 
is the fundamental claim of the Church — per- 
petually guides her, when she takes counsel, and 
will not suffer her official deliberation ever to issue 
in error. Errors indeed have often, and must have 
often, been taught within the Church but not by 

1 Tixeront, Histoire des Dogmas, La Theobgie Ante-niceenne, chap, 

a Rickaby, Development, pp. 18, 19. 


the Church. Errors have been the providential 
builders of truth. Errors have been needful, and 
the fire of contradiction, to separate the ore from 
the dross, and to cause a doctrine to be distinctly 
elaborated in thought and enunciated in set 
formula. Errors concerning Christ and the Holy 
Trinity were the proximate occasions of the de- 
crees of Nicaea, Constantinople, Ephesus and 
Chalcedon. Similarly, the opposition to the pri- 
macy of the Holy See was the very food that fed 
its development : the opposition of Africa in the 
third century, of Byzantium in the ninth, of France 
in the seventeenth, bore witness to the truth they 
opposed, and prepared a doctrine not to be formu- 
lated in its full distinctness till the days of our 
fathers. 1 

And so in general the history of dogma presents 
three stages, first, implicit and vague ; secondly, 
imperfectly thought out, inaccurately stated, arous- 
ing and in part rightly arousing opposition ; 
thirdly, accurately and explicitly formulated. 2 The 
best of men may be in opposition to dogma in the 
first and second stages : only in the third stage it 
becomes a test whether they are the children of 
self-will or of obedience. 

1 Rickaby, op. cit., pp. 54, 65-69. 
2 Ibid., pp. 22, 23. 


Section LXXII. 

If in dogma we find the changes expressed by 
the word development, still more so in discipline 
and devotion. " There was a time when a priest 
as a matter of private devotion might say seven 
or more Masses in a day ; there have been other 
times when Mass was rarely said by anyone but a 
bishop. For more than iooo years the practice of 
visiting the Blessed Sacrament or of Benediction 
was unknown ; but these things are now the very 
life of Catholic devotion. . . . The penances of 
many years duration, familiar in the early 
ages, have long since fallen into desuetude." 1 
The reign of canonical penances has been suc- 
ceeded by the reign of indulgences. The devotion 
to St. Joseph, so conspicuous in the modern 
Church, lay dormant for centuries till Gerson 
was raised up to be its theologian, St. Teresa its 
saint, St. Francis of Sales its popular teacher. 2 

And these changes are partly the fruit and 
expression of development of doctrine, such as the 
outburst of devotion to the Blessed Virgin after the 
council of Ephesus, when there was no longer risk 
of this devotion obscuring the Divinity of Christ ; 
or when some new aspect of the Incarnation is 

1 Fr. H. Thurston in The Tablet, 15th April, 1905. 

2 Faber, Blessed Sacrament, bk. ii., section v. 


realised that before had never struck the mind of 
the faithful, like the devotion to the Holy Name in 
the fifteenth century and to the Sacred Heart in 
the seventeenth ; partly they are the answer of a 
divinely illuminated soul-saver to the ever chang- 
ing needs of the souls to be saved. Because the 
world changes in each age the Church must be in 
a perpetual condition of adaptation, if she is ever 
to remain the same healer of the nations, to deal 
with each generation in its own way, to meet its 
peculiar temptations and difficulties, to be its 
efficacious guide. Variety and growth of new 
devotions, far then from being contrary to her 
sameness, are the very fruits of it. 1 Not that all 
are wise, all good, all approved : far from it ; and 
just as certain doctrines held at any given time by 
some of the faithful are imperfect or unsound, and 
in process of correction or elimination, even so 
with devotions ; and they require perpetual watch- 
fulness and the guiding hand of authority, lest 
they become involved in human corruption. 

Section LXXIII. 

Nay, the very principle of development of 
doctrine is itself capable of abuse and excess. 
It is one thing to say that the unchanging 

1 Faber, Growth in Holiness, chap. xxii. 


dogma of the Church has to be presented to man's 
finite intelligence in a language and manner which 
he can understand, that " it is the special function 
of an infallible Church — invested with infallibility 
by its Divine Author for the purpose — at once to 
preserve the essential dogma unchanged and to 
present it afresh to each succeeding age in the 
language which that age best understands " ' — it is 
quite another thing to repeat the (condemned) 
proposition of Gunther : "In time by the progress 
of science, a new sense may have to be assigned to 
dogmas proposed by the Church, different from 
that which the Church has hitherto understood and 
at present understands ". This is not the growth 
of a sapling oak into the king of the forest, or the 
change of a young law student by the lapse of 
years into a judge, or the completion of an un- 
finished building according to its original plan, or 
the deduction of conclusions from the premisses in 
which though hidden, they are already contained ; 
but rather the change of an oak into a pine, of one 
man into another, a substitution of a new building 
for an old, an addition not to mere conclusions but 
to the original premisses. So in the earlier times 

1 Review in The Times, 30th Oct., 1903, of Wilfrid Ward's Prob- 
lems and Persons, a volume that contains among other good things 
the admirable paper on " Unchanging Dogma and Changeful Man ", 


of the Church the Gnostics pretended to substitute 
a loftier knowledge (yva>cn<;) for the common faith. 
Eloquence and learning, joined to an austere life, 
seemed to guarantee the truth of this plausible 
philosophy of Christianity, this profounder intel- 
ligence of the Christian faith, that yet was an 
attempt to change the work of God into the work 
of man. 1 

Such was no development of Christian faith but 
would have been its destruction. 

Another ground of error is to compare the old 
dispensation with the new, and by a false analogy 
to bracket together the course of the Christian 
Church and the course of the Jewish Synagogue. 
But between the Old Testament and the New 
there is a fundamental distinction. Dogma had 
reached a definite term in the New Testament ; 
nothing essential remained to be revealed ; and 
a sacred deposit was entrusted to a doctrinal 
authority ; truths that could receive development 
only and not alteration. Whereas in the Old 
Testament there was no infallible doctrinal au- 
thority, and if we use the word development at 
all in its regard in the sense explained in this 
chapter, we must instantly add, that there was 
much more than development. For we can trace 

1 Tixeront, La TMologie Ante-niceenne, chap, iv., § 4. 


a progressive revelation, a gradual increase of light, 
till the time was ready for the full and final day- 
light of Christianity. Excellent and Divine, so far 
as it went, the Old Law brought nothing to per- 
fection till Christ came. 1 But when He had come 
and by coming had brought grace and truth, there 
was no need to wait for any development before 
soaring upwards to the highest flights of con- 
templation, or in outward action doing the most 
heroic deeds for Christ. The sacred dogma had 
from the first its full power ; and all the after 
developments, admirable and needful as they have 
been, the fairest fruit of the God-given gift of 
reason guided by the Spirit of Love, are but the 
unfolding of the faith of the first Christians, the 
belief in Christ truly crucified, in Christ truly 
risen from the dead. Greatly should we err if 
we thought development was a mere natural in- 
tellectual process of dialectic, without Divine 
guidance and practical import for our spiritual 
life ; but no less should we err if we thought the 
simple, undeveloped, undifferentiated Christianity 

1 See the luminous Second Conference in Pere Lagrange's La 
Methods Historique, edit, of 1904, a work now accessible in 
English. See also G. Tyrrell, Hard Sayings, pp. 19, 20 ; Franzelin, 
De Ecclesia, Thes. iii. ; and the remarkable articles on the Church 
and the Bible by Baron Friedrich von Hiigel in The Dublin Review, 
Oct., 1894, and April and October, 1895. 


of the first Christians was the simplicity of ignor- 
ance ; * or that their lack of explicit formulas was 
a lack of certainty in their faith. 

Section LXXIV. 

But although the theory of development cannot 
escape, like all else in our feeble hands, a liability 
of perversion, it is a theory now perhaps more 
than ever of supreme importance. Every epoch 
has its providential task ; and just as the centuries 
from the third to the fifth and again the twelfth 
and the thirteenth displayed a philosophical de- 
velopment of the faith ; so it may be the task of 
the twentieth century to display an exegetical 
development, namely, to apply the resources of 
our time and historical methods to the study of 
the Bible. Nor need any Christian fear lest the 
Church be unequal to the task, and the sacred 
deposit become as spoil for the spoilers. For she 
who shrank not from the construction of an intel- 
lectual theology, though the false science of the 
Gnostics might seem to have discredited the 
attempt, is not to be held back from her course, 
is not to be hindered in the providential develop- 
ment of her exegesis, by the scarecrow of rational- 
istic criticism ; and the new Gnostics, who show 

1 Lagrange, op. cit., pp. 39, 40 ; Tyrrell, Lex Orandi, concl. 


in many ways a singular resemblance to the old, 
are constructing with their tools of scholarship 
and criticism, through the rocks and morasses of 
history, a level causeway, not for the triumphal 
chariot of a higher Gnosis, but for the humble 
tread of Christian footsteps. 1 

Thus the theory of development solves the 
problem of an unchanging Church in a changing 
world, of a Church that preserves the golden mean 
between heretical instability and schismatical im- 
mobility. If a correct report could be drawn up 
of some great centre of Catholic life, at intervals 
of 300 years, to show the theoretical truths ex- 

1 Thus the narrow and imperfect notion of the Divinity held by 
the Jewish Patriarchs, and pointed out by St. Cyril of Alexandria 
(Lagrange, op. cit., p. 58), might be made a pretext for denying the 
supernatural character of the Jewish religion and for reducing its 
course to the common level of mere natural religious evolution. 
In the same way the resemblance of Mosaic and Babylonian 
legislation may be made a pretext for denying the supernatural 
character of the Jewish Commonwealth. But it is a sorry induc- 
tion that rests on observed resemblances only, and ignores ob- 
servable differences ; and a full study of Semitic religion and 
Semitic antiquities shows in both cases so singular a difference, 
that unless we are bound over by our pre-suppositions to reject 
the supernatural, its interposition is the easiest solution. On the 
total freedom of the Bible from obscene myths and on the trans- 
cendent view of the One God that it displays, see Lagrange, ibid., 
pp. 205, 206 ; and on the distinction of Mosaic from Babylonian 
legislation (here again the element of obscenity is a striking test 
of dissimilarity), see ibid. , p. 170, and the articles in the Stimmen 
aus Maria-Loach, April, May and August, 1903, by F. X. Kugler. 


plicitly taught, and the Christian life actually- 
lived ; and starting at Rome or Antioch in the 
year 100, if we examined them again in the year 
400, and Rome or London in the years 700, 1000 
and 1300, and Rome or Vienna in 1600 and 1900, 
a long volume would scarce suffice to enumerate 
the differences. And yet the Church proclaims 
herself all the while to be the same, and rightly. 
For these very differences are the witness of her 
identity, a living identity not a lifeless similarity. 
Were she now [per impossibile) to appear externally 
the same as 900 or twice 900 years ago, and were 
she then (as she was most truly) the living Church 
of God, assuredly now the external similarity 
would be but the mask of death, and she herself 
but a mummified corpse, instead of being, as she 
is, the living Bride of Christ. 


Section LXXV. 

We have counted as the tenth and last antimony, 
that the Church is ever being defeated and yet is 
ever victorious. 

Failure and defeat seem from the first the lot of 
the Church, and the Divine operations everywhere 
frustrated. Instead of carrying their dominions to 
the bounds that had been assigned to them, the 
chosen people themselves were carried into 
captivity. There was but one temple of the true 
God, and this was profaned and destroyed. 

And the Old Dispensation was here but the 
anticipation of the New, wherein the flight of 
Christ into Egypt appears perpetually re-enacted ; 
and if the hardness of men's hearts extorted 
divorce under the Old Law, men's unbelief 
hindered the miracles of Christ under the New. 
We have to confess the apparent triumph on all 
sides and through all ages of man's will over God's 



will, the course of multitudes along the dark and 
miry paths of error and vice instead of walking in 
the luminous road which leads to the mountain of 
Sion, and we are confronted by an appalling 
mystery — appalling till we understand the necessity 
of free-will, the power of Divine grace, the efficacy 
of prayer, the meaning of omnipotence in bonds, the 
glory of the hidden victories of the Most High. 1 

Moreover, if the Christian Church can show no 
more than a partial fulfilment of the Kingdom of 
the Messiah, she knew her own prospective future 
from the beginning, warned her preachers of the 
fate before them, that they would be as sheep 
among wolves, would be hated for Christ's name, 
nay, that persecution was to be their blessing, and 
those their encouragement who had been racked, 
mocked, stoned, cut asunder — the example of 
men who suffered and who failed. 2 From the 
beginning she knew and avowed the weakness 
and seeming folly of her preaching, that yet was 
to overcome all the strength and wisdom of the 
world — weakness and folly, lest God's work should 
perchance be taken for man's work. 

1 Faber, Blessed Sacrament, bk. iii. , § 7, bearing the significant 
title : "The works and ways, the weights and measures, the failure 
and success of God ". — Cf. Ramiere, Apostleship of Prayer, intro- 

2 Grammar of Assent, chap, x., § a. 


Thus over and over again the Divine Pilot 
seemed to slumber while the ship was sinking ; 
over and over again the Lord of all seems to keep 
silence, to yield, to fall back, to cast aside all 
carnal weapons, to leave the issue to time, waiting 
in a way scarce endurable to our impatience, till 
pride should be its own correction, broken without 
hands, dissolved under its own insufficiency. 

Indeed if the life of the Church was to be the 
continuation of the life of her Divine Founder, 
how could it be other than a life in appearance of 
defeat and humiliation, and in reality of victory ? 
She must needs practise her Founder's new 
manner of warfare, whose triumphs are the depths 
of His abasement ; and around her, as they stood 
around Him, must stand the five mystical figures, 
bearing on their foreheads their names of Poverty, 
Abandonment, Rejection, Secrecy and Mortifica- 
tion. 1 

Section LXXVI. 

Take, for example, the pontificate of Gelasius, 
and the year of Christ 493 ; how forlorn appeared 
the outlook, how fruitless the conversion of the 
Empire the century before, how certain on mere 
human principles the speedy downfall of the 

1 Faber, Bethlehem, chap. iii. 


Church. All the East was in the hands of traitors 
to the Ecumenical Council of Chalcedon, all the 
West was under the Arians who rejected the 
Ecumenical Council of Nicsea ; the Pope himself 
was under an Arian master. " And if one heresy- 
were not enough, Pelagianism was spreading 
with the connivance of the bishops in the territory 
of Picenum. In the North of the dismembered 
Empire, the Britons had first been infected by 
Pelagianism, and now were dispossessed by the 
heathen Saxons." The Catholic clergy were 
oppressed in the Arian kingdoms of Burgundy, 
Aquitaine and Spain, and Catholic worship sus- 
pended by the Arian Vandals of Africa. Nearly 
the whole of the East sided with the Patriarch of 
Constantinople (Acacius) in a schism from the 
West and were partakers of the Monophysite 
heresy, while outside the Empire the opposite 
heresy of Nestorianism was advancing on its 
scandalous progress. 1 

Or is this a mere solitary instance ? Go back 
then some 115 years just before St. Gregory of 
Nazianzen had begun to preach at Constantinople 
(a.d. 378), and confess that the fortunes of the 
Church, the Christian world being overladen with 
Arianism and torn by schisms, appeared desperate. 

J Development of Christian Doctrine, chap, vi., § 3. 


Or go forward some ninety years to the time 
before St. Gregory the Great had begun his 
pontificate, and confess that the end of the Church 
appeared at hand, the remnants of Roman civilisa- 
tion sinking before the desolating advance of the 
Lombards in Italy ; East and West afflicted with 
famine, earthquake, pestilence ; the Christian 
Britons slaughtered or enslaved or driven to the 
barren hills by their pagan foe ; Arianism still 
holding Spain and much of Italy in its embrace. 1 
No wonder that St. Columban was not alone in 
thinking the end of the world at hand. 2 

If we divide, by the number of years, into three 
equal portions the earthly course that as yet the 
Church has run, these tempests of disaster just 
named were all in the first portion, but were to be 
matched by what was to follow. Let us pass over 
those in the second portion (a.d. 636-1270), when 
again and again destruction seemed at last come 
upon her, as when much of her work was ruined 
by the Mahometan invaders in the eighth century 
and the Northmen in the ninth, or when in the 
tenth century the papacy seemed submerged, or 
later endangered by the mighty Henries and 
Frederics of Germany. Let us look rather at 

1 Development of Christian Doctrine, chap, vi., § 3. 

2 Grisar, Geschichte Roms imd der Papsten., pp. 452, 453, 


the third portion as the nearest to our own time ; 
and mark, among others, three periods of stress, 
during which, on all principles of historical proba- 
bility, the Catholic Church was doomed to perish : 
first the Great Schism when for thirty-seven 
years her very foundations seemed shattered, the 
principle of obedience brought into disrepute, the 
existence of bona fides, nay, of sanctity, on both 
sides, appearing to show providential guidance at 
war with itself. Secondly came the Protestant 
outburst, introduced with indescribable calumny 
and vituperation against the Catholics, with plunder, 
destruction, and (generally) bloodshed. So Eng- 
land in 1 540 wore the aspect of a pillaged country, 
works of art and stores of learning, the accumula- 
tion of centuries, lost and gone. So in France the 
churches destroyed could be counted by hundreds, 
the priests and monks butchered by thousands, 
Catholic rulers declared unworthy of obedience, 
the Catholic religion outraged by unendurable 
sacrilege. And at one time, in the face of this 
storm of self-interest and fanaticism, two-thirds of 
her previous empire seemed irretrievably lost to 
the Church. The third period of stress was the 
triumph of Jansenism in the eighteenth century, 
when the great Church of France was infected 

with it to the core, when Joseph the Emperor and 



the Archduke of Tuscany and the Neapolitan 
Kingdom seemed about to throw off their allegi- 
ance to the Holy See, when Catholic doctrines 
such as indulgences, auricular confession, and the 
cultus of the saints, were openly disputed by 
bishops and professors ; when the Jesuits, the 
special champions of the Holy See against Pro- 
testantism and Jansenism, were assailed with 
deadly persecution in Portugal and Spain, France 
and Naples, and the Holy See compelled by the 
menace of a schism to suppress this chosen body- 
guard in the very hour of need. The powers 
called Catholic had all turned against the Holy 
Church and who was to defend her? Who in- 
deed ! if not One whose hand is not shortened 
that it cannot save, or ear heavy that it cannot 
hear. 1 

And once more in mid-nineteenth century the 
triumph of heresy and schism seemed assured, 
when Protestantism had been vociferously re- 
affirmed in England, was the religion of scientific 
Germany, was being spread through the world in 
the two immense and growing empires, the British 
and the American, while Spain and the vast 
regions once her colonies seemed plunged in un- 
ending civil war and hopeless decay, when more 

1 Anglican Difficulties, Lecture x., 8, 9. 


than half of Mexico had been conquered by the 
United States, and it seemed a mere question of 
time for the rest to follow ; when schismatic Russia 
was rising daily higher and higher, and the relative 
number of Catholics compared with heretics and 
schismatics was daily declining, so that under the 
sheer weight of numbers the Church seemed about 
to be overwhelmed. 

Section LXXVII. 

Yet precisely in those years the Master could 
repeat to desponding followers the timely encour- 
agement Noli cemulari, be not jealous of the evil- 
doers. Man's necessity is God's opportunity. Be 
patient. You have in you what others have not, 
an unearthly spirit of endurance, you who can 
realise the law of moral conflicts, the incoherence 
of falsehood, the issue of perplexities, the end of 
all things, the presence of the Judge. 1 

In truth, whoever studies Church history will 
find the very periods of stress the antecedents of 
victory, the darkest hour followed by a dawn. 
So, for example, Constantine followed Diocletian ; 
the three dark times in the fourth, fifth, and sixth 
centuries issued in the respective conversions, big 

1 Present Position of Catholics, Lecture ix. 


with blessing, of St. Augustine, of Clovis, of the 
Anglo-Saxons ; the desolations of the dark ages 
were followed by Hildebrand and the Crusades ; 
the zeal of the Dominicans and Franciscans, and 
the light of St. Thomas's Summa, were, so to 
speak, the Divine reply to imperial tyranny and 
Albigensian heresy ; the gaping wound of the 
Great Schism was scarce healed when we meet 
the flower of Christian art in Fra Angelico, and 
then in St. Thomas a Kempis the flower of 
Christian mysticism ; Luther and Calvin were 
but the rough pathway to the fair garden of the 
new martyrs, to the true reformation by the 
Council of Trent, to the new missions in East and 
West ; Jansenism was so exalted only to fall the 
more irretrievably ; and the threatened over- 
whelming of Catholic population by the dissidents 
fifty years ago has already, like a hundred threats 
before it, come to naught. 

This essay is by pre-eminence a study of facts 
and how to account for them. How account then 
for the fact that the Christian Church, through so 
many centuries, is ever being stricken down, yet 
ever rising afresh, and though ever dying, dies 
not, but lives ? Or how account for the connected 
facts, briefly to be noted, that the tongue of 
calumny and the sword of persecution have been 


let loose against her from the beginning to this 
day ? 

Section LXXVIII. 

The calumnies that overwhelmed the Author of 
Christianity have been heaped on the heads of 
His servants ; if they have called the good man of 
the house Beelzebub, how much more those of 
his household, and the singular beatitude has 
been singularly fulfilled, that against them should 
be said all manner of evil. Among the pagans 
the grossest tales of foulness and blood were 
current accusations against the early Christians, 
guilty, it was said, of revolting incest, feeding on 
children's flesh, giving worship to monsters, their 
religion a dark and malevolent magic. By the 
heretics of the early centuries the Catholics were 
described as apostates, man-worshippers, flesh- 
lovers, traitors, sinners, servants of Antichrist, 
their Church a brothel and a synagogue of Satan. 1 
The pagans in their turn, when the victory of 
Christianity rendered the old calumnies impossible, 
contrived in their literary circles a conspiracy of 
silence : to ignore the presence and triumphs of 
the Christians was a primary canon of good style. 2 

1 Development of Christian Doctrine, chap, vi., § 2. 
Z T. R. Glover, Lije and Letters in the Fourth Century, pp. 108, 
171, 240. 


And later the disasters to the Empire gave a new 
plausibility to the ancient calumny that the Chris- 
tians were the cause of every calamity : the Tiber 
is in flood : cast the Christians to the lion. 

But to follow the devious course of calumny 
would be long. Think, for example, of the pages 
needed to tell all that was falsely forged and 
uttered in France against the Holy See and its 
servants when Philip the Fair was on the throne 
and Pierre Flotte the minister of his misdeeds. 
Rather let us keep our eyes at home and look a 
' moment at the great unholy legend that grew up 
in England against God's Church, dominated our 
land for 300 years, and if driven at last from its 
high place, still holding a great multitude under 
its malevolent spell. Ushered in by covetous 
mendacity in the reign of Henry VIII., augmented 
by the crafty slanders of the following reigns, 
notably of Cecil under James I., the legend reached 
its climax in the homicidal falsehoods of Titus 
Oates and the frenzy of Parliament and people 
under Charles II., renewed in a milder form in the 
Lord George Gordon riots a century later, and 
again in 1850 when Newman could sorrowfully 
exclaim : " Alas ! there is no calumny too gross 
for the credulity of our countrymen, no imputation 
so monstrous which they will not drink up greedily 


like water ".» And in a whole volume, lightened 
by inimitable humour, he showed in detail the 
marks of the Protestant view of the Catholic 
Church ; fable its basis, tradition its sustaining 
power, true testimony insufficient for it, its logical 
inconsistency, prejudice its life, assumed principles 
its intellectual ground, ignorance its protection. 2 
Yet even such a masterpiece appeared written in 
vain to those who witnessed the persistent life of 
the hideous legend in the days of Garibaldi's 
triumph or of the Vatican Council. 

We have no need to inquire how far this par- 
ticular calumnious legend is still an active force, 
or whether on the eve of disappearance. For the 
point is not its death, but the explanation of its 
long-continued life, what the law of the pheno- 
menon, what the meaning of that general and 
secular calumny of which the English case is 
one example. 

And indeed calumny and obloquy are but the 
corollary of persecution. " The lion rends his 
prey and gives no reason, but man cannot per- 
secute without assigning to himself a reason for 
his act ; his very moral constitution forbids con- 
tentment with mere brute force ; and if he is to 

1 Occasional Sermons, " Christ upon the Waters ". 

2 Present Position of Catholics, ist edit., 1851. 


wage war with the moral influence of the Church, 
as good reasons fail, nothing is left to him but to 
misstate and defame ; there is no alternative." ' 

Calumny acts as the incentive to persecution 
and is its justification and persecution is the final 
cause of calumny. 

So, through all her course, persecution of the 
Church in multitudinous forms is ever immi- 
nent, and the light of martyrdom never failing. 

Section LXXIX. 

Of this glorious light already, in the sixth chapter, 
I have said enough, not indeed for the sublimity 
and all-importance of this department of history, 
but for the purpose of this volume. Here amid 
the ranks of the white-robed army let us recall 
alone the martyr children, whose testimony bears 
a singular significance. Take first the Roman 
persecution. Barulas, a boy of seven years old, 
was scourged to blood for repeating before the 
heathen judge : There is but one God and Jesus 
Christ is the true God. " At Merida a girl of 
noble family, of the age of twelve, presented 
herself before the tribunal, and overturned the 
idols. She was scourged and burned with torches ; 

1 Present Position of Catholics, Lecture vi. 


she neither shed a tear, nor showed other signs of 
suffering. When the fire reached her face, she 
opened her mouth to receive it, and was suffocated. 
At Caesarea, a girl, under eighteen, went boldly 
to ask the prayers of some Christians who were in 
chains before the Prcetorium. She was seized at 
once, and her sides torn open with the iron rakes, 
preserving the while an open and joyous counten- 
ance." Again Peter, Dorotheus and Gorgonius, 
boys of the imperial household, suffered dreadful 
torments, dying under them without a shadow of 
wavering in their Christian faith. 1 

Take a second series of examples from the 

Japanese persecution, and we see that from the 

same sacred root spring the same fragrant flowers. 

" When we read of the boy Lewis, at the age of 

twelve, who ran like a second St. Andrew to 

embrace the Cross upon which he was to die ; of 

Magdalen, who, as she was being burned to death, 

gathered up in her hands the red-hot coals and 

crowned her brows with them as though they had 

been roses ; of the little martyr of six who, running 

to keep up with the soldier who led him to death, 

gazed without dismay at the disfigured corpses of 

his father and uncle, and then kneeling down and 

joining his hands, looked up into the face of the 

1 Grammar of Assent, chap, x., § 2 vers. fin. 


executioner with a bright, expectant smile ; or of 
the Christian mother who being herself, by a 
refinement of cruelty, .respited from death, spent 
her time in teaching her doomed little ones how 
they were to kneel down, to bow their heads and 
to cry out Jesus ! Mary ! with their latest breath 
. . . and of countless other incidents which closely 
resemble them, we are tempted to wonder whether 
we are not breathing the atmosphere of legend. 
. . . But they are facts, . . . attested for the most 
part by the evidence of eye-witnesses, and con- 
firmed in many indirect ways by the secular history 
of Japan as we read it alike in native and in Chris- 
tian authors." l 

And can we show none in our own Islands of the 
West that can be placed side by side with these 
fair flowers of the Church, reckoned in this life 
as children and yet, because of the light of Him 
they love, understanding more than the aged ? If 
we search perchance we may find. Thus at the 
time of the great Irish famine many depots were 
opened by proselytising societies for distributing 
food to the starving people, gratis indeed, but at 
the price of giving up the Catholic faith and being 
instructed or numbered as Protestants. Then a 
certain widow in north-west Kerry (her name 

1 Fr. Herbert Thurston in The Month, April, 1905, p. 394. 


and place can be made precise), seeing her children 
wasting away with hunger, herself unable to save 
them, and across the way one of these depots 
filled with food, in her bewilderment and without 
evil intent asked the eldest boy, who was but ten 
years old, to cross over and simply show himself 
at the depot in the hope that the very sight of his 
wretchedness would move the distributors to 
minister to his hunger without assailing his faith. 
But then as promptly as if he had been Lewis of 
Japan or Dorotheus of Rome, the boy answered, 
"Ah, mother, death were better". So with his 
two brothers this child of faith and fortitude died 
slowly of starvation. 1 Nor can those who know 
the land and the people doubt that many others in 
the same plight in those years of sorrow and of 
heroism showed the same spirit of unconquerable 

Section LXXX. 

This brief survey, these scanty examples, are 
yet enough to indicate a marvellous history and to 
justify us in presenting at the domicile of historical 
science a demand-note for an explanation. It was 
otherwise in the early centuries of the Church : 
her eventual triumphs were matters of faith only 

1 P. S. Dinneen, Faith and Famine, 2nd ed., 1902 (Dublin: Gill 
and Son). 


and not of sight, except as seen in the anticipa- 
tions of the saints. But as the centuries have 
increased in number the marvels have accumulated, 
with the reiterated failure of brute force, of subtle 
thought, of plausible calumny to bring the Church 
to her destruction. Or is it nothing, to go back no 
further than times our grandfathers might have 
remembered, that in those dark Jansenistic days 
I have recalled, the sinister French Revolution 
swept over Europe, breathing fire and slaughter 
against the Church ; and yet when it had passed, not 
the Church but her arch-foe Jansenism lay dying? 
Or is it nothing that when reinvigorated and 
exuberant Protestantism seemed an overpowering 
adversary, two fresh forces, personified in the names 
of Strauss and Darwin, were added to the hostile 
camp : and yet it was not the Church but her 
Protestant foe that they left slowly bleeding to 
death on the intellectual battlefield ? Or nothing 
that the Church has become insensibly an object 
of reverence and imitation in the eyes of many to 
whom formerly she was an object of abhorrence, 
and multitudes, though outside the visible fold, are 
taught to their inestimable profit an abundance of 
Catholic doctrine, and learn, like the Franks under 
Clovis, to burn what they had adored and to adore 
what they had burned ? 


And perhaps the most strange of all these 
portents is the development of the dogmas of the 
Christian faith described in the preceding chapter. 
Consider the incessant mental activity of the 
maintainers of this faith, its living energy, how it 
grows and is not overgown, spreads and is not 
enfeebled, is ever germinating yet ever consistent 
with itself, and how its upholders, in spite of failures 
in points of detail of gifted Fathers and Saints, 
have worked out a coherent theory of doctrine after 
doctrine, when at any time a single false step 
would have thrown all into confusion. 1 Here are 
phenomena which exceed the effects of any natural 
causation ; here is an effect without a cause, a 
body hanging loose in the natural universe lacking 
a proper place to be assigned to it ; here is an 
earthly power exposed to all the laws of history and 
yet so defiant of them, that no explanation avails 
except to acknowledge that this earthly power is 
something more than earthly, and though dying in 
its individual members, for they are human, is 
immortal in its succession, for it is Divine. 2 

This conclusion will be confirmed in the follow- 
ing final chapter on the miraculous and its ex- 

1 Development of Christian Doctrine, chap. xii. 
3 Lectures on the Turks, Lecture iii., part ii. 


Section LXXXI. 

Using miraculous in the wide sense of an inter- 
position in the course of nature by powers superior 
to those of nature, and in a manner that can 
be perceived by sight or hearing, or some 
other sense, we can say that a belief in the 
miraculous is a characteristic of man ; not merely 
of man in a rude illiterate state, but of civilised 
man, from the Egyptians, to go back no further, 
under the First Dynasty, sixty-six centuries ago, 
to our own day. 

Cheaply and easily this gigantic fact has been 
dismissed by recurrent materialism as a tissue of 
delusion and fraud. It is assumed as a first prin- 
ciple that we can know phenomena and can know 
nothing beyond phenomena ; that physical uni- 
formity is universal, all things within the domain 
of science, this the reign of law, the miraculous 

consequently non-existent ; and as a further con- 



sequence that prayer is of necessity in vain, not 
merely prayer for such objects as for rain or 
for recovery from sickness, but for such objects as 
help to resist temptation or to make in some grave 
matter a wise choice. For mental phenomena 
proceed on fixed laws (it is said) no less than 
extra-mental ; and as there could be no physical 
science if we allowed supernatural interposition in 
the physical world, so there could be no psychology 
if we allowed the invariable sequence of thoughts, 
volitions and emotions to be disturbed by the 
actions of (imaginary) human free will, or by the 
(imaginary) intervention of a personal Creator and 

It is not my business to deal with this stand- 
point, which has a certain appearance of logical 
consistency, and was put before the public in the 
sixties with triumphant cogency. 1 The amazing 
assumptions needed to start this theory on its 
course, and the appalling conclusions that followed 
from it, have been sufficiently shown by many 
writers during the past twenty-five years, and 
have been shown indirectly by the flourishing 

1 See the lucid article in the Dublin Review, April, 1867, by 
W. G. Ward on Science, Prayer, Free-will and Miracles, re- 
printed 1881. It is described in chapter xi. of Mr. Wilfrid Ward's 
W. G. Ward and the Catholic Revival. 


manufacture of pantheistic drapery to veil the 
repulsive nakedness of naturalistic atheism. My 
business here is rather to notice that this theory 
is unhistorical, giving no proper explanation of 
the belief and practice of the vast majority of 
mankind, and leaving without an adequate cause 
so gigantic an effect. For the denial of miracles 
indeed there is an adequate cause, as one single 
instance would render the materialistic position for 
evermore untenable ; and perhaps would ultimately 
if not instantly be equally fatal to the manifold 
forms of pantheism. For a genuine miracle is in- 
compatible with monism. 

But for a theist the difficulties disappear. God 
being the Author of nature and of the laws and 
uniformity of nature on which physical science 
depends, there is no contradiction in a Divine 
interposition, which to be a miracle at all, pre- 
supposes an ordinary uniformity ; else there could 
be no breach of it in the particular case. Nor is 
there any difficulty in allowing to God the power 
to suspend or transcend the ordinary laws of 
nature, when the free-will of man has been at 
work for centuries, interposing in the realm of 
determinism and modifying the aspects of physical 
nature, transforming the flora and fauna of con- 
tinents without damage to the science of botany 


and zoology ; nor damaging geology because the 
banks of the Thames at London are lined with 
Aberdeen granite that no glacial drift or any other 
known force of unassisted nature could have 
lodged there. And science dealing with the 
general and the abstract has no need to be troubled 
by Divine interposition in the particular and the 

Section LXXXII. 

But to recognise the theoretical possibility of 
the miraculous is one thing ; to have a due ap- 
preciation of historical fact is another thing. To 
say that the question of miracles seems to be 
simply a question of evidence, 1 is one thing ; to 
treat the evidence in a judicial spirit is another 
thing. And just as some writers without proof 
and in the face of apparent facts take as a first 
principle that miracles cannot be, and disallow 
all evidence to the contrary ; in the same way 
other writers who allow that miracles can happen, 
or even have happened, and allow the continuance 
of answer to prayer for interior graces and of 
psychological miracles, yet take as a first principle 
that physical miracles ceased long ago, and refuse 

1 As the late Duke of Argyll said some forty years ago in his 
Reign of Law. 

18 » 


to look any facts in the face that testify to their 

In dealing with unwelcome evidence our frail 
humanity appears at its weakest. Thus touching 
a celebrated miracle at Milan to which St. Ambrose 
and St. Augustine bear testimony, the theological 
writer Isaac Taylor about the year 1840 wrote as 
follows : — 

" In the Nicene Church, so lax were the notions 
of common morality, and in so feeble a manner 
did the fear of God influence the conduct of leading 
men, that on occasions when the Church was to 
be served and her assailants to be confounded, 
they did not scruple to take upon themselves the 
contrivance and execution of the most degrading 
impostures." l 

And when Newman about ten years later pro- 
claimed his belief in certain specific miracles 
because of the strength of the evidence for them, 
he foresaw that the avowal would be imputed by 
many, as in fact it was, " to insanity, or to an 
idiosyncrasy, or to imbecility of mind, or to de- 
crepitude of powers, or to fanaticism, or to hypo- 
crisy." 2 And he foresaw, besides, that this 

1 Ancient Christianity, ii., p. 270, quoted in Dr. Marcus Dods, 
translation of the City of God, p. 485. 

a Present Position of Catholics, Lecture vii., 8. 


rejection of "ecclesiastical miracles," peremptory, 
a priori, without weighing the evidence, would be 
applied, as in fact it has been, to the Gospel 

The curious Protestant standpoint of the seven- 
teenth century, when ecclesiastical miracles and 
the aid of saints were rejected as superstitious, 
and yet the miraculous interposition of evil spirits 
held to be of constant occurrence, is now only of 
historical interest ; but the same spirit of rejecting 
evidence is seen to this day. Wishing to be fair- 
minded, unwilling to impute fraud, our contempo- 
rary scholars and men of science cannot have 
recourse, like the old fanatical Protestants, to the 
ever-ready explanation in the shape of a crafty 
priesthood and wilful deception. But their own 
position grows ever more difficult by the pressure 
of facts they cannot explain properly ; and those 
specialists in physical science who will not hear 
of any supernatural explanation of the phenomena 
of Lourdes or Naples, or of spiritualism, 1 are akin 
to the specialists in historical science, at a loss 
to explain the wonders recorded at the shrine of 
St. Thomas of Canterbury, or those attributed 

1 See William James, The Will to Believe, 1897, pp. 317-325 on 
the "scientific" antagonism to the researches and the results of 
the Society for Psychical Research. 


on such good testimony to St. Catherine of Siena 
or St. Philip Neri ; who would have us believe 
that a Church professing to be founded on 
miracles handed down with minutest detail, did in 
fact grow up all suddenly on a make-belief ; who 
would have us admit, in the teeth of documentary 
evidence, that the Lausiac History of Palladius 
was no genuine history, because it narrated the 
miraculous life of the hermit St. Anthony ; x who 
would leave us no alternative but to write down 
the supreme foe and the supreme defender of 
Christianity, the Neo-Platonist philosopher Por- 
phyry and a century later St. Augustine, as both 
of them stupefied by superstition, and gaping like 
a half-witted countryman at the tricks of a mounte- 

Section LXXXIII. 

If one hypothesis fails to solve scientific diffi- 
culties or account satisfactorily for the phenomena, 
the method of science is to try another. 

Let us then, as a mere hypothesis, try the 
Catholic teaching on the supernatural, and see 

'See the evidence by Dom Cuthbert Butler in J. Armitage 
Robinson's Texts and Studies, Cambridge, 1898 ; and the neglect of 
the evidence in Mr. T. R. Glover's (otherwise excellent) Life and 
Lettets in the Fourth Century, p. 384. 


whether it will account in these matters for the 
records of history and observed phenomena. 

We must assume, therefore, that God the 
omnipotent Creator established the natural order 
of which the laws are the subject-matter of 
physical science. We must assume that in the 
world the action of man, as a being endowed with 
freedom, has resulted in the artificial order, the 
subject-matter of moral and historical science. 
We must assume that God interposes by way of 
grace or miracle, apart from the two preceding 
realms of determinism or indeterminism ; and this 
interposition forms the supernatural order. To 
this may be added (though more strictly called the 
prseternatural order) the action of incorporeal 
beings on men or things. 

Now concerning this grave and highly pertinent 
matter, we must hold that one part of the world of 
pure spirits, bodiless, immortal, created before 
man, created good (Priscillian notwithstanding), 
created free, misused their freedom to sin, became 
radically changed, irremediably evil (Origen not- 
withstanding) and permitted to interfere in man's 
world as his perpetual enemy because of their 
enmity to his Creator. Hence, linked by the bond 
of a common hatred, the evil spirits form a king- 
dom of darkness under their chief to whom the 


name of adversary or calumniator has been appro- 
priated {Satanas, Diabolus), and is often taken 
collectively to express the evil mind and evil will 
of all evil spirits. 

These spirits are allowed to attack men normally 
and habitually by tempting them to sin, or by 
producing illusions that have sin as their final 
cause ; while occasionally and sporadically they are 
allowed to take possession of man's mental and 
bodily faculties. But the powers of evil spirits are 
limited ; they can never force the will ; as far as 
wrongdoing is concerned any child can vanquish 
any evil spirit ; and it is heresy not orthodoxy to 
attribute our sins to the tremendous power of 
Satan rather than to our own cowardice, effeminacy 
and self-love. Nor does the ordinary power of 
evil spirits in external things reach to the sus- 
pension of the laws of nature ; but they know these 
laws so well and so far beyond the range of human 
knowledge, that often they appear to foresee 
events and produce effects in a manner that 
simulates the genuine suspension of a law of nature 
in a divine miracle. Indeed their characteristic is 
to be surrounded by a cloud of deception in con- 
trast to Divine truth, and to work by illusion and 
simulation, mockery and caricature. 

So it has come about that over against the 


masterpiece of the holy Church of God, is set up 
a mock church, the masterpiece of Satan, the union 
of evil spirits and evil men their agents and 
dupes ; and while the whole life of a Christian is 
to be conformed to the likeness of the Most High, 
so by a permission that startles us, the adversary is 
suffered to become in blasphemous caricature " the 
ape of God " to use the expression of one of the 
Fathers ; 1 and two cities stand one against the 
other, the City of God or Christ's Church and the 
Kingdom of Satan, in never-ceasing warfare. 2 But 
the final issue is never doubtful. The ceaseless 
activity and visible work of Satan and his angels 
as disclosed in the history of the Church and of 
individual souls might indeed appal us did we not 
know that he is everywhere met and matched by 
the activity of grace, his wiles unmasked, his 
schemes baffled, his rage impotent, his head 
crushed beneath the woman's feet ; and those 
whose eyes are opened like the eyes of the 
prophet, can see in this secular warfare the horses 
and chariots of fire that fill the mountains round 
the servants of God. s 

'Cited by H. Ramiere, Apostleship 0/ Prayer, ed. 1891, p. 107. 

2 See St. Augustine, De civitate Dei, especially the Prsfatio and 
lib. xiv., c. 28, and the encyclical of Leo XIII. entitled Humanum 
Genus, published April, 1884, especially the fine exordium. 

3 Faber, The Creator and the Creature, bk. iii., chap. ii. 


And if any should ask why these things are so, 
and our weakness assailed by a supernatural foe, 
I might dismiss the question as not here to the 
point. But I would rather refer to what has 
already been said in the tenth section touching 
the permission of evil ; and would add here from 
Faber that as all holiness consists in the personal 
love of God, this love (beside which all else is 
nothing worth) is the explanation of all difficulties : 
explains sin because its forgiveness is the sweetest 
preacher of Divine love on earth ; explains the 
Kingdom of Satan, because the personality of the 
evil spirit drives us into personal love of God as 
our security and refuge. 1 

But this by the way ; our immediate task has 
been not to defend the Church on the supernatural, 
but to explain it as an hypothesis. 

Section LXXXIV. 

Now granting this hypothesis, all observed facts 
and appearances regarding the supernatural will 
fit into their place and receive adequate explana- 

But stay ! the reader may exclaim, What is 
this? Are we to commit ourselves to accept as 
sober truth all the tales of the miraculous, carry 

1 Faber, The Creator and the Creature, bk. iii., chap. iv. 


our heads in our hands like St. Denis, or ride 
on a broomstick to the witches' Sabbath on the 
B roc ken ? 

Heaven forbid ! But we commit ourselves, with 
the Church as our guide, to look the facts fairly 
in the face ; and looking we see how here as 
everywhere she preserves the golden mean, an 
ever present witness to her Divinity. Given 
human nature as she presents it, given the super- 
natural forces good and evil, as she presents them, 
we must expect a whole mountain of superstitious 
illusion and deliberate deception, and to see magic 
in a hundred forms practised from generation to 
generation. It is not necessary, it is frequently 
impossible, to determine how much is merely 
human, a vast department of morbid mental 
phenomena, and how much is in part also dia- 
bolical ; indeed, since confusion and darkness are 
characteristic of evil spirits (on our hypothesis), 
the human and the super-human action may be 
inextricably intermingled. And (partly from the 
hypothesis, partly that from h posteriori reasoning) 
we must expect that the action of evil spirits will 
be intermittent and various according to the forces 
of good and the particular condition of an age or 
country. Thus the phenomena of diabolical pos- 
session, so minutely described in the New Testa- 


ment, so especially provided for in the exorcisms 
of the Church, so clearly distinguished from bodily 
disease and not to be confused, though in ignorant 
eyes often confused, with insanity and abnormal 
mental phenomena — this possession has been found 
again and again on the first preaching of Christi- 
anity to a pagan people, and is seen in modern 
China, where idiocy, insanity, epilepsy, and 
hysteria have each their separate names, and all 
distinct from diabolical possession. 

Take again the extraordinary development of 
magical practices that grew up in the northern 
countries, particularly in Germany, in the fifteenth 
century, fostering, as well as fostered by, the out- 
break of Protestantism, and culminating in the 
dark superstitions of witchcraft that pressed 
heavily in the seventeenth century like a night- 
mare on Germany, England and Scotland, while 
the Latin countries were almost exempt. To 
suppose that evil spirits had no part in this mental 
epidemic is almost as hard a supposition to accept 
as to accept all the foolish tales of the victims, and 
is to rush from the one extreme of seeing Satan 
everywhere to the other extreme of seeing him 

Moreover, the end and aim of the Evil One and 
his agents being to produce sin, there is an ante- 


cedent probability that the visible manifestation 
of their influence will vary with the circumstances 
of time and place ; and that alternations will be 
seen (as they have been) of deep superstition and 
shallow scepticism, each state of mind leading, 
though by a different road, to the ends of wicked- 

And far from modern science " disproving the 
devil," it has enabled us better to understand the 
process of diabolical delusion, by its showing us 
natural forces hidden from us before, but at all 
times (on the hypothesis) known to evil spirits, 
and giving to their deceptions the appearance of 
an exercise of Divine power. 

Section LXXXV. 

We see further in the Church the same avoid- 
ance of extremes in the matter of miracles in the 
stricter sense, wrought by God Himself or His 
ministers. Uncritical acceptance and uncritical 
scepticism are both brushed aside. The accept- 
ance of any particular miracle except the dogmatic 
miracles of her foundation, is not forced by the 
Church on her children ; but at all times she up- 
holds the present possibility of miracles, according 
to the promise of her Founder, 1 and according to 

'John xiv. 12. 


the analogy of divine works, that God would 
continue what He had begun, and that the very 
suspension of one order seems to point to another 
order ; so as to make any single miracle only one 
of a series, and convert the apparent exception 
and anomaly into an additional law of His pro- 
vidence. 1 

Hence while the history and preservation of the 
Church, the singular animosity with which she 
has been assailed, the singular fortitude with 
which she has been defended, the singular de- 
velopment of her doctrines, the singular fortunes 
of the Jews and the After-Christians^ forbid a 
natural explanation, and give a strong presump- 
tion in favour of the miraculous events on which 
the Church rests her claim to our acceptance ; 
it follows that, once granted the Apostolic miracles 
— and if we refuse them we fall into historical 
nescience and chaos— the continuance of the mir- 
aculous down to this day presents no intellectual 
difficulty. It becomes a question in each case 
of facts and evidence. 

Nor is it necessary to answer as serious objec- 
tions the multitude of spurious miracles, the obvious 
motives for their manufacture, the eagerness of a 
credulous crowd to receive them. As well argue 

1 Present Position of Catholics, Lecture vii. 


against the existence of genuine diamonds from 
the multitude of false diamonds, and the obvious 
motives for making them and wearing them. The 
test in each case is specific evidence. 

And this evidence has been rendered clearer 
and miracles better established by the progress 
of science which has shown that various pheno- 
mena, formerly held to be miraculous, can be 
explained by natural causes. For example the 
medical investigation of the gangrenous affection 
known as ergotism enables us to explain naturally 
certain cures that seemed miraculous ; and the 
accounts of blood flowing from cut loaves, need 
imply no portent, but only the development in the 
yeast of the bacillus prodigiosus. But then the 
very accuracy of the details given by the chronicler 
in these cases where modern science can control 
them, confirms his accuracy of observation and 
sober truthfulness in narrating cures for which 
modern science can provide no natural explanation. 1 

To those who are under the sway of the tyrann- 
ous prejudice that physical laws can never be 
overridden, the detailed evidence appeals in vain. 
But they leave a whole chapter of human history 

'See the interesting and highly instructive Lift of St. Hugh of 
Lincoln, by the Rev. Herbert Thurston, S.J., London, 1898, pp. 478- 
483, 505-510 and the preface pp. x-xii. 


irremediably in darkness, nay the whole course of 
human history, and are confronted by a crowd of 
facts that somehow must be explained away ; 
whereas our reasonable hypothesis exempts us 
from the Procrustean process of cutting down our 
facts to the narrowness of our presuppositions. 

Presuppositions indeed we must have, but let 
them be broad and deep and capable of explaining 
our history and our human nature. As Mr. Wil- 
frid Ward has well said, summing up Newman's 
position : — 

"Commence by the realisation of the depths of 
the human soul, of its relations with God, of the 
probability that God would grant a revelation, of 
the points of contrast between the Christian reve- 
lation and other religions, and facts [of religious 
history] assume a different colour. If Christianity 
in its true exhibition is unlike religious fanaticism, 
and is unique among religions, the antecedent 
improbability of its miracles to a great extent 
ceases. An event solitary in human history for 
its greatness and significance may well bring 
marvels in its train. The inquirer proceeds then, 
in comparing it with other religions, to note differ- 
ences rather than similarities." 1 

1 W. G. Ward and the Oxford Movement, chap, xv., ad fin. pp. 402, 


The differences ! aye there's the rub. And just 
as between Babylonian and Israelite legislation 
and morality it is the differences that are the fact of 
significance, so the differences between miraculous 
appearances within the Church and without her, 
are what strike us, whether claimed to be, or 
denied to be, miraculous ; for those without 
show such feebleness, incompleteness and imita- 
tion, compared with the completeness, originality 
and power of those within. Let us recognise, 
indeed, or rather affirm that Catholic miracles 
may utilise and apply as well as override natural 
causes, and may be under a higher law of causa- 
tion ; for who is to deny that Providence may not 
here act through intermediaries -and bind them by 
laws whose mystery and subtleness transcend our 
fragile comprehension. But this much is certain, 
the striking contrast between the miracles of the 
Catholic Church and every external attempt at 
approximation. 1 

Section LXXXVI. 

Preaching without practice is proverbially uncon- 
vincing ; and having urged the need of specifica- 
tion and details, I must myself give some few cases 

1 See the note on miracles appended (pp. 574-578) to Fr. Thur- 
ston's Life of St. Hugh of Lincoln. 

J 9 


of the miraculous, easily accessible, and, on the 
hypothesis adopted in this chapter easily explain- 
able ; but on any other hypothesis inexplicable. 

Take first the recovery from blindness of Severus, 
one of the guild of butchers at Milan, at the time 
when St. Ambrose and St. Augustine were there 
together. The man was well known, had been 
compelled to abandon his trade because of his 
blindness, and then recovered his sight by touching 
the freshly found relics of St. Gervasius and St. 
Protasius. The details can be read in the twenty- 
second letter of St. Ambrose translated in Pusey's 
Library of the Fathers ; and more shortly the 
miracle is described in the Confessions of St. 
Augustine, 1 and in his City of God. 2 For the 
needs of modern readers it has been re-stated by 
Dr. Ryder with admirable clearness and wit. 3 

Take, secondly, the case of the African con- 
fessors, a crowd of men who spoke clearly and 
perfectly when their tongues had been barbarously 
and completely cut out ; a case all the more 
noticeable because the argument against its co- 
gency, tolerated in the Apologia? has been shown 
by Dr. Ryder to be but an argument of straw. 5 

1 Book ix., chap. vii. 2 Book xxii., chap. viii. 
3 In an article "On Certain Ecclesiastical Miracles," in Tht 
Nineteenth Century, August, 1891. 

'Ibid. 6 The Nineteenth Century, I.e. 


Take thirdly the cure oflnnocentius wrought at 
Carthage under the very eyes of his friend St. 
Augustine, and minutely described in the City of 
God. 1 The patient had suffered from fistula ; had 
been skilfully operated upon ; but one sinus among 
the many that had been laid open, had escaped 
the notice of the surgeons. When this deficiency 
was discovered they long hoped to effect a cure by 
medical treatment without further operation. For 
the extreme pain which the patient had suffered 
from the previous operation, naturally without 
anaesthetics, caused him to shrink in terror from 
a second operation. At last they were forced 
to the sorrowful conviction that there could 
be no cure without it. The patient then in anger 
dismissed his medical advisers and called in a 
famous surgeon of Alexandria, who saw like the 
others the absolute necessity of a second operation ; 
and with a true sense of professional honour 
persuaded the patient to allow it to be performed 
by the previous surgeons, of whose skill he had 
convinced himself by examining the traces of their 
previous work. The operation was then fixed for 
the next day. During the terrible interval some 

1 Book xxii., chap. viii. The passage is fairly rendered into 
English, though not with medical precision, in Dods' translation 
Edinburgh, 1873. 

19 * 


servants of God, Bishop Saturninus among them, 
and St. Augustine himself, sought to console the 
patient, who made no doubt he would die of the 
inevitable torture under the surgeons' hands ; and 
all betook themselves to prayer with such tears 
and fervour that Augustine cried out in his heart : 
" O Lord, what prayers of Thy people dost Thou 
hear, if Thou hearest not these ? " Then came the 
dreaded day ; the same spiritual consolers are at 
the bedside, the surgeons and their frightful instru- 
ments are there ; the operator makes all ready ; he. 
looks for the sinus that is to be laid open {secandum 
sinum) ; he finds a perfectly healed scar (jirmissi- 
mam cicatriceni) ; and amid unutterable joy and 
thanksgiving to God the patient is declared cured 
without an operation. 

Then passing over the ages when from lack of 
civilisation it is more difficult, though by no means 
impossible, to secure trustworthy evidence, 1 let us 

1 E.g., the suppleness a week after death of the limbs of St. 
Hugh of Lincoln, to which fact his quite trustworthy chaplain 
testifies. See p. 549 of the Life of St. Hugh by Fr. Thurston, who 
adds the following note: "There is no class of alleged miracles 
for which the evidence seems to me to be so overwhelmingly con- 
clusive as the marvellous occurrences which are constantly re- 
corded in connection with the bodies of the saints after death. 
Whatever explanation may be given of them, it is impossible to 
doubt the facts. The perfect flexibility of the limbs many days 
after death, the freedom from any sign of corruption, the sweet 


take as our fourth illustration the proceedings in 
later ages of the Roman Congregation of Rites in 
the process of Beatification and Canonisation ; the 
careful scrutiny of evidence before a miracle is ac- 
cepted as proved ; the distinction of three classes 
of the miraculous ; while in regard to cures seven 
serious conditions are required before they can be 
admitted as miraculous. 1 If then we suppose that 
the whole multitude of miracles proved before the 
Congregation of Rites, besides many disallowed 
because not quite reaching the high standard of 
proof required, are all of them a tissue of ignorance, 
misunderstanding, delusion and falsehood, we are 
making an unreasonable supposition. 

Fifthly and finally let us take a few of the many 
hundred well-authenticated cases of those cured 
in our own time at the waters of Lourdes, and let 
this suffice ; for it is no history of thaumaturgy 

fragrance exhaled from them, and many other remarkable pheno- 
mena, are attested in case after case by witnesses whose veracity 
there is not the least reason to suspect. . . . Neither have these 
phenomena become any less frequent in modern times. . . . The 
only difference ... is that in our day the evidence is more care- 
fully sifted." 

1 These conditions are : (i) that according to medical testimony 
the illness has been grave and inveterate ; (2) not at a stage when 
amendment may be expected ; (3) that it has been medically 
treated; (4) that convalescence has been sudden or speedy ; (5) 
not ensuing on some physical crisis; (6) that the cure has been 
complete ; (7) and persistent. 


that I am writing, but rather a brief survey of 
Church history as the key to universal history. 

In 1869 Leonie Chartron from la Nievre having 
for some five years suffered from Pott's disease 
(caries of the spine) was cured suddenly on being 
bathed in the spring at Lourdes, her serious de- 
formity (hunch-back) disappearing instantly. 1 

Peter Rudder, a rural labourer of Jabbeke in 
Flanders, was suffering since 1867 from gangrenous 
wounds due to a broken leg. Many doctors saw 
him, declared the wounds incurable, and amputa- 
tation, which the patient refused, the only remedy. 
He was taken in 1875 to tne Lourdes Grotto of 
Oostacker near Ghent, was instantaneously cured 
there, the broken bones reunited, the wounds gone, 
crutches needed no longer, capacity for work no 
less than before his accident. He was at work 
and vigorous in 1892 when a medical inquiry was 
made into his case and its supernatural character 
confirmed. In 1898 he died of pneumonia at the 
age of seventy-five and twenty-three years after 
his cure. In the following year the body was exr 
humed and the clear traces found both of the 
fracture and of its mysterious healing. 2 

1 George Bertrin, Histoire Critique des Evlnements de Lourdes, 
5me edit., 1905, Paris, Lecoffre, pp. 176, 177. 

2 Bertrin, pp. 307-332, and in the Appendix, pp. 514-520. 


Francis Vion-Dury, a soldier, suffering for seven 
years from double detachment of the retina and 
thus incurably blind, at last in 1 890, at the advice 
of the nuns of the hospice near Bellegarde, applied 
some water from Lourdes to his eyes. At the 
third application he felt a sharp pain as of a knife, 
and then in his own words, as suddenly as a rifle- 
shot he found he was cured, and henceforth his 
sight was approximately normal. 1 

Among children cured at Lourdes have been 
Paul Mercere, aged twelve months, in 1866, of 
congenital hernia ; A. Mertens, aged nineteen 
months, in 1895, °f paralysis of the right arm; 
Yvonne Aumaitre, aged twenty-three months, in 
1896 of a double club-foot; Ferdinand Balin and 
George Lemesle, both aged two and a half years, 
one in 1895 °f a deformity {deviation) of the knee, 
the other in 1897 of infantile paralysis. 2 

Theresa Rouchel of German Lorraine had been 
attacked in 1890 by lupus. Ulceration in the face 
and mouth gradually grew worse, and was pro- 
nounced by one doctor after another, including two 
German specialists, to be incurable. Both to her- 
self and to others she was an object of horror. She 
reached Lourdes on 4th September, 1903, after a 
painful journey, the bandages over her face needing 

1 Bertrin, pp. 140-43. *Ibid., pp. 182, 183. 


incessant renewal. Then the next day during a 
procession of the Blessed Sacrament she was 
suddenly cured ; became on her return to Metz an 
object of wonder and of inquiry to the German 
police and the doctors ; and by a strange coincid- 
ence, almost in the words addressed by the Jews 
to the blind man in the ninth chapter of St. John's 
Gospel, she was called upon to describe her cure. 
Indeed it was a case for inquiry, as two perforations 
of the palate and right cheek, deep and of long 
standing, had disappeared suddenly, and skin and 
muscles had been suddenly formed, replacing the 
flesh that had perished, and joined on to the sound 
flesh. There was no relapse, and as late as Febru- 
ary, 1905, the cure was perfectly maintained. 1 

Section LXXXVII. 

The contemporary phenomena of Lourdes con- 
firm the point already emphasised, how great is 
the difference between the miraculous within and 
without the pale of the Catholic Church, between 
the genuine and the spurious. Let the student 
regard on the one hand the precision, the lucidity, 
the quiet observation, the constant presence of 
reason characteristic of such cases as I have given, 
and how the medical office {Bureau des constata- 

1 Bertrin, pp. 308-329. 


tions me'dicales) established at Lourdes can be 
described as une sorte de clinique du miracle ; 1 and 
then on the other hand let him regard the ex- 
travagances of spiritualism, or again (in Dr. 
Ryder's phrase) the obscure amalgam of brain 
waves, faith healing, and sympathetic enthusiasm 
used to account for facts that cannot be denied ; 
and he will be struck by the significant contrast. 
Significant also is the absence at Lourdes of 
"suggestion" or "auto-suggestion" in any proper 
sense. No certainty of cure is taught or felt : the 
only certainty is the belief in God's power to heal 
if He will. And the dubious present results, the 
admitted limitations, and the gradual operation of 
"psychotherapeutics" are quite unlike the un- 
deniable, the unlimited, and the speedy results of 
the waters of Lourdes. 2 

1 Bertrin, p. in. 

2 See the careful study of the Interpretation of the Facts 
given by Bertrin, pp. 147-199, where he shows that neither the 
physical character of the waters (very ordinary), or the more 
plausible explanation of suggestion, can by any possibility account 
for the cures. In the note on miracles to the Life of St. Hugh of 
Lincoln, Fr. Thurston (writing seven years before M. Bertrin) has 
the following pertinent passage : " Nothing seems to me more 
striking than the limitations of those faith-cures . . . induced by 
Professor Charcot and his associates. The cures of Catholic 
miracles are in numberless instances complete, permanent and 
instantaneous. The faith-cures are partial, temporary, and 
gradual. The signs wrought by Moses and Aaron did not more 
completely transcend those of Pharaoh's magicians than the 


But on the hypothesis of this chapter physical 
and historical science are delivered from grave 
embarrassment by being delivered from the 
burdensome pre-supposition that the miraculous 
is impossible. Remove this prejudice, and then 
without serious difficulty all manner of phenomena 
can be fitted each into its proper place, and order 
succeeds to chaos. For grace being built upon 
nature, keeps its own foundation in good repair : 
the trustworthiness of our reasoning powers and 
the trustworthiness of our senses and the trust- 
worthiness of evidence are supported by revelation 
against a false idealism and a morbid criticism that 
would dissolve all into nescience. The natural and 
the supernatural are not indeed to be confounded 
together, but lucidly distinguished ; not foolishly 
fused, nor again foolishly set, one against the 
other, in hostility ; their relations are rather of 
harmony and alliance. 

In this essay it is not questions of physical 
science or psychology that have been the primary 
concern, but those rather of historical logic, and 

miracles of Lourdes surpass those of the Paris hospitals. If the 
Salpetriere physicians would take an hysterical patient with an 
ulcer of many years' standing, persuade her she is about to be 
cured, and then at the psychological moment remove the bandage 
and show the ulcer healed, there would be a real parallel to 
Catholic miracles" (pp. 576, 577). 


to show that universal history is orderly and in- 
telligible by the very presence of the one great 
exception to all ordinary rules, the one super- 
natural Church. I have sought to show by a 
cumulation of evidence drawn both from the 
fortunes of those outside her borders, and from 
ten of the antinomies or seeming contradictions 
in her life and teaching, that her history can be 
explained on no natural principles ; that there is no 
accounting for her strange combination of success 
and failure, for her vitality and for the extraordin- 
ary and secular violence of the enmity against her, 
for her change and yet her sameness, for her 
divisions and yet her unity, for her scandals and 
yet her sanctity, for her seeming opposition to 
earthly government, culture and material civilisa- 
tion yet all the while their sustenance, for her 
combined austerity and joyfulness — no solution 
for such a cumulation of marvels but to acknow- 
ledge the Church as supernatural. Then the 
question of the miraculous that is so troublesome 
to physical and historical science, becomes a 
tractable quantity and can take its place as part 
of a wider phenomenon. 

Thus at last we seem to have reached the long- 
desired summit and long-sought conclusion, that 
the supernatural is the key to the natural ; that 


the difficulties of history find their solution in 
theism ; that Christianity solves the difficulties of 
theism ; that the Holy Catholic Church solves the 
difficulties of Christianity ; that Church history, 
properly understood, solves the difficulties of 
Catholicism ; that Church history therefore is all 
important for the understanding of universal 
history and for our mental outfit ; that without 
it we are compelled on matters the gravest, on a 
field the widest, on subjects of the most fascinating 
interest, on issues incomparable, to remain in irre- 
mediable darkness. 

Section LXXXVIII. 

Am I then to end with a note of triumph over 
fallen foes ? Not so. For such is not the temper 
suited to this world of obscure images, or to the 
feeble state of man, who is warned when he 
thinketh he standeth to take heed lest he fall. 
Indeed, such exultation would contradict the words 
written already at the close of the First Part. 

Therefore let no one think the previous reason- 
ing is meant to be a demonstration, or that the 
evidence is so irresistible that our reason is forced 
to admit the conclusion ; for there is lacking a 
cogency that would overpower us into conviction. 
Nor is the deficiency due merely, though much 
is due, to the many imperfections of the present 
writer, but due also to the very nature of the case ; 
so that even in the best of hands there must be a 
cloud over the argument. For the Church cannot 
expect her light to be more overwhelming in its 

brilliancy than the light of the moral law ; and 



her proofs are imperfect or inferential, unable to 
enforce acceptance on the unwilling. Let the 
Master who has spoken so often in these pages, 
speak once more : — 

"The sense of right and wrong, which is the 
first element in religion, is so delicate, so fitful, so 
easily puzzled, obscured, perverted, so subtle in 
its argumentative methods, so impressible by 
education, so biased by pride and passion, so 
unsteady in its course, that, in the struggle for 
existence amid the various exercises and triumphs 
of the human intellect, the sense is at once the 
highest of teachers, yet the least luminous." ' 

Again, " Those higher sciences . . . Morals 
and Religion, are not represented to the intelli- 
gence of the world by intimations and notices 
strong and obvious, such as those which are the 
foundation of physical science. . . . Instead of 
being obtruded on our notice, so that we cannot 
possibly overlook them, they are the dictates either 
of Conscience or of Faith. They are faint shadows 
and tracings, certain indeed, but delicate, fragile, 
and almost evanescent, which the mind recognises 
at one time not at another, discerns when it is 
calm, loses when it is in agitation. The reflection 
of sky and mountains in the lake is a proof that 

1 Letter to the Duke of Norfolk, Section on Conscience. 


sky and mountains are around it, but the twilight 
or the mist or the sudden thunderstorm hurries 
away the beautiful image, which leaves behind it 
no memorial of what it was. . . . How easily can 
we be talked out of our clearest views of duty : 
how does this or that moral precept crumble into 
nothing when we rudely handle it ! how does the 
fear of sin pass off from us, as quickly as the glow 
of modesty dies away from the countenance ! and 
then we say 'It is all superstition'. However, 
after a time we look around, and then to our 
surprise we see, as before, the same law of duty, 
the same moral precepts, the same protests 
against sin, appearing over against us, in their old 
places, as if they had never been brushed away, 
like the Divine handwriting upon the wall at the 
banquet." 1 

It is not otherwise with the Holy Church. The 
evidence may grow troubled ; objections may close 
over her like a dark mist coming up from the sea, 
and her face be hidden. Or can she expect her 
own evidence to be clearer than that of the supreme 
truths, the being of a God, the certainty of a 
future retribution, the claims of the moral law, the 
reality of sin, the hope of supernatural help ? truths 
of which she is the one undaunted defender. And 

1 Idea of a University, " Christianity and Medical Science ". 


by every sort of persecution she has ever paid, 
and must pay, for that defence the penalty. The 
world is a rough antagonist to spiritual truth ; 
sometimes with mailed hand, sometimes with 
pertinacious logic, sometimes with a storm of 
irresistible facts that are the truth, but not the 
whole truth or the most important truth, it presses 
on ; and the Church cannot hope for any normal 
visible interposition to protect her servants and 
sacraments from contempt or violence. God will 
not enforce the acceptance of the Divine message ; 
He will not overawe irreverence by a display of 
His majesty. Rather He discloses Himself to 
us by hiding Himself and seems by the apparent 
helplessness of the Divine ways, and by giving 
the fullest play to our free-will, to raise us to 
the most submissive and intelligent worship. 
Thus it is by the first principles deeply lodged 
in the heart of man that God leaves his Church to 
gain her footing and achieve her success : the 
sense of right and wrong, the consciousness of 
transgression, the pangs of guilt, the dread of re- 
tribution, the yearning for more than earthly love. 
Thus again it is to man's feeble hands that is en- 
trusted the guardianship of Christ's priceless truth, 
nay, even the defence of Christ's Immaculate Bride. 1 

1 Faber, Blessed Sacrament, bk. iii., § vii. 


If these things are so, how all important is a 
true delineation of the Church, how enkindled 
should be every ambition to achieve so incom- 
parable an end ! It was worth while when the 
Roman Empire stretched over Western Europe 
and Northern Africa and hither Asia, to attempt 
the history of so magnificent a growth. It was 
worth while again when the British Empire within 
the brief span of some hundred years had arisen 
and spread over the earth, to attempt the history 
of such a progress, and trace the humble sources 
of so mighty a stream. Still more was it worth 
while in the days of Eusebius of Caesarea, though 
he might shrink from the task as too great for his 
strength, to gather up into one body the scattered 
records of the Church, to set forth her glories, and 
to answer the pagan reproach that she was but a 
thing of yesterday, by showing her foundations 
to have been laid with the foundations of the 
world. 1 And now, after the further lapse of nearly 
sixteen centuries, how much more is it worth while 
to set forth the annals of the faith, to tell the length- 
ened tale of heroism, to discern the home of grace 
and sanctity ; to display man in his true manhood, 
and our reason sustained against the persistent 

1 Eusebius Pamphili, Hist. Eccles., Preface. Compare also the 
Prefaces of Livy and Macaulay. 



attacks of ever-varying unreason ; to recognise the 
undying torch-bearer, dissipating the darkness of 
our mortal life till the time of darkness is over, and 
she goes forth, faithful and true, to meet the im- 
mortal Bridegroom with whose heart she has ever 
been in sweet accord {cor ad cor loquitur) and to 
pass into all truth and never-fading light (ex 
u-mbris et imaginibus in veritatem). 

Lovers gaze gladly on the likeness of one they 
love ; and gladly therefore should we gaze on 
the authentic portrait of the Church, and dwell 
lovingly on the features of the never-failing friend 
of all the sons of men : this Church who by her 
very nature is the loving mother of us all ; the 
mother of those whose fresh youth is not yet 
dimmed by sophistry, nor made crafty by decep- 
tion, nor soured by disappointment, nor hardened 
by iniquity ; the mother who may be thrust aside 
in the hour of prosperity, but is the ever ready 
refuge, to whom those can turn whose burdens 
are heavy, whose hopes are shattered, whose 
days are drawing to a close, whose hearts are 
aching with irremediable sorrow. Ah ! indeed 
in this dark world of illusion it is worth while to 
make her known ; for to know her is to love her. 


Abelard, 224. 

Adam Smith, isgff. 

Adoption, Christian doctrine of, 38. 

After-Christians, meaning and numbers of, 42, 43, 62 ; examples 
of among Mahometans, 44-51, 54, 55; in America, 52, 55; in 
Australia, 52, 56; in England, 52, 57; in France, 51, 53-55, 
176 ; in Germany, 56, 209 ; in Spain, 89 n. ; their fear of pain, 
123, 214; anarchical character, 53, 137, an; connected with 
Socialism, 151, 153, 159. 

Agnosticism, 69, 94, 298. Cf. Relativism. 

Alexander VI., 162. 

Allard (Paul), 103 »., 148 n. 

Ambrose (St.), 162, 276, 290. 

Analogies, 69. 

Ancestor Worship, 107, 133. 

Anima naturalitbr Christiana, 38, 82, 90, 107. 

Anthropomorphism, 69. 

Antinomy, defined, 38; antinomies of the Church, 64, 65, 75, 76, 
299 ; similar difficulties of secular science, 66-68, 84, 85. 

Apollinaris, 224. 

Apostacy, Early Church on, 199, 216. 

Aquinas. See Thomas (St.). 

Arab Culture parasitic, 45-47. 

Arabs before Mahomet, 47. 

Argyle (Duke of), 275. 

Arianism, 90, 200, 220, 229, 243, 257, 258. 

Aristotle, as philosopher, 90, 92 ; as economist, 102, 118, 140, 


Arius, 200, 227, 229. 

307 20 * 

3 o8 INDEX 

Arnold (Dr.), 202. 

Arnold (Matthew), 84, 120, 212. 

Art, a part of civilisation, 8 ; character of, 84, 85 ; inexplicable 

history of, 87-89 ; how far favoured by the Church, 82, 86 ff. 
Asceticism, of the Catholic Church, 79 ff., 98-100, 110-112, 121- 

123, 138, 146, 159, 165, 223/., 255; Hindu or Moslem, 121. 
Ashley (Prof. W. J.), Preface, 15 n. 
Athanasius (St.), 224, 244. 
Augustine (St.), as once a Gnostic, 220, 262 ; as a philosopher, 

90, 94, 95 ; as a theologian, 224; on Roman civilisation, 10, n ; 

on the hedonistic commonwealth, 114-116, 209 ; on Christians 

as citizens, 137, 138; on the Two Cities, 281 n. ; on freedom 

of conscience, 189, 201; on the use of heresies, 234; on 

miracles, 276, 278, 290-292. 
Austerity. See Asceticism. 
Austin, the jurist, 235. 
Averroes, 46. 

Babylonia, 27, 104, 237, 252 »., 289. 

Baqehot (Walter), 5 n. 

Barry (Dr. W.), 53 n. 

Baumqartner, 47 n. 

Beloch (Prof.), 24. 

Bentham, 235. 

Bertrin (George), 294-297. 

Bible, exegetical development in twentieth century regarding, 
351-352; Old Testament, contrast with New Dispensation, 
249, 250, 252 »., 254 ; contrast with Babylonian civilisation, 
252 n., 289; heresies and schisms in, 218, 219; judgment on 
the world in the Book of Wisdom, 113, 118; New Testa- 
ment on asceticism, 111, 112; on submission, 144, 145; on 
unity, 215, 216; on scandals, 170, 171 ; on persecutions, 255. 

Birth-rates, significance of decline of, 54-58. 

Blackstone, 201. 

Boetius, 35 «., 193. 

Booth (Charles), on London, 21 ; on servants, 140 n. 

Browning (Robert), on religion, 196. 

Brunetiere (F.), 33. 

Bryce (Sir James), on Moslem jurisprudence, 48 n. 

INDEX 309 

Buckle, i n. 

Buddhists, numbers of, 61, 62 ; doctrines of, 62, 120, 121. 

Bury (Mrs.), 86 n. 

Butler (Dom Cuthbert), 278 n. 

Calumnies, against the Church, 77, 101, 113, 160, 259, 262-265, 
276; connected with persecution, 265, 266. 

Catholic Church, as complete Christianity, 63 ; golden mean of, 
64, 73, 82, 92, 108, 163, 221 ff., 252, 283, 285 ; history of, alone 
explaining the world's history, 63, 64, 298-300; obscurity of, 
64, 72, 301 ff. ; seeming contradictions (antinomies) of, 64, 65, 
72-76, 299; attitude towards modern Socialism, 155-160; 
friend of the poorer and weaker classes, 81, 146-150, 158, 196- 
199; apparent failure of, 254 ff- ; cumulative marvels of history 
of, 269-271, 286^., 299 ; attempts to imitate, 219, 220, 280, 281. 

Cathrein (Victor), on anthropology, 29; on pantheism, material- 
ism and theism, 31. 

Celsus, 80, 103. 

Chateaubriand, 138 n. 

Child Martyrs, 266-269. 

China, culture in, 25, 26 ; family life in, superior to the Mahometan, 
50; ancestor worship in, 107, 108; diabolical possession in, 

Chivalry, 105, 154. 

Christianity, claims to solve difficulties of theism, 38-41, 300; 
claims to be final, 40, 41, 57, 58, 60^. ; comparison with Jews, 
fore-Christians and after-Christians, 42 ff. ; statistics of, 61, 
62 ; antinomies of, 64, 65, 75, 76 ; the prop of civilisation, 39, 
101 ff. ; the religion of reason, 108, 132, 133, 305, 306; alleged 
impracticability of, 172 ff.; attitude of, towards ancient slavery, 
idfiff.; towards modern Socialism, 154, 160. 

Church History, as world history, 63, 298-300; importance of 
understanding, 64, 300, 305, 306. 

Civilisation, described, 7-11; material and intellectual, 9, 12; 
drawbacks of, 24 ; summary on progress and decay of, 29, 30; 
difficulty of comparing examples of, 12-15, 18 ; seeming op- 
position of Christianity to, 98 ff.; Christianity the antiseptic 
for, 39, 101 ff. 

COLUMBA (St.), l82. 

310 INDEX 

COLUMBAN (St.), 258. 

Comte (Auguste), i n., 3 n. 

Conscience, meaning of, igo; liberty of, 193, 195. 


Culture, denned, g ; how far restrained by the Church, 77 ff. ; how 
far promoted, 82, B&ff., 104 ; popular, endangered by material 
progress, 24-26; favoured by the Church, 149, 150, 158. 

Cyril (St.), of Alexandria, 224, 252 «. 

Dahlmann on Buddhism, 62. 

Dark Ages, 78, 104, 105, 149, 162, 181, 258; distinguished from 
mediaeval, 78. 

Darwin, i »., 270. 

Development of Christian doctrine, popularly explained, 242-245 ; 
Newman's great work on, 240, 241 ; marvel of, 271 ; import- 
ance of, 251 ; caricature of, 247-251 ; applied to devotions and 
discipline, 246, 247. 

Dill (Dr.), 57 "■ 

Dissensions among Catholics, 162, 163, 169. 

Dissidents from the Church, horror of, by early Christians, 216; 
modern standpoint of Catholics on, 216-218; good life among, 
217, 229-232. 

Donatists, 171, 200, 220. 

Egypt, ancient civilisation of, 19, 27, 107, 272 ; hermits of, 103, 181. 
England, condition of, at different periods, ig-21 ; modern culture 

contrasted with Chinese, 25, 26 ; workman's associations in, 

152 ; After-Christians in, 43, 62 ; Christian life in, 37, 231-232 ; 

Church of, 220, 227, 22g ; Protestants in, 25g, 260, 264, 265 ; 

saints and martyrs of, 182, 183. 
Epictetus, 146. 

Equality and Christianity, 146-150, 155, 170. 
Erastianism, 131. 
Eucken (Prof.), 237 n. 
Eusebianism, 227. 
eusebius, 305. 

Evil, problem of, 35-37, 129, 187, 228, 229, 233, 234, 255, 282. 
Evil Spirits, 279, 285. 

INDEX 311 

Extremists, false fervour of, 164, 165, 317, 218 ; laxity of, 165, 166, 
226, 228. 

Faber (F. W.), on good underlying evil, 35-37 ; on love, 3g, 180 ; 
on specific Christian virtues, 40 ; on the history of creation, 
40;;.; on the hiddenness of God, 71 ;»., 304; on joy and as- 
ceticism, 121-123 ; on lax Christians, 165, 166 ; on rigourists, 
166, 223 ; on use of heresies, 233, 234 ; on development in devo- 
tions, 246, 247 ; on seeming failure of the Church, 255 »., 256. 

Factory Laws. See Workmen, legislation for. 

Family Life of After-Christians — of Mahometans, 49-51 ; of 
French, 53-55 ; of Americans, 55 ; of other After-Christians, 
56, 57 ; of Fore-Christians, 58, 107, 108 ; of Christians, 57, 
107-109, 123, 137-138, 173-178; essential to human happiness, 
58, 107; Individualism and Socialism both hostile to, 157. 

Fisher (Bl. John), 182, 238 n. 

Flint (Dr.), his History of the Philosophy of History, 2 ; his 
Scientia Scientiarum, 92 n. ; his History of the Classifications 
of the Sciences, 3 «., 92 ». ; on Mahometan civilisation, 47 n. ; on 
Schelling, 66 ». ; on Buddhists, 121 ». ; his misapprehension on 
Christianity, 63 n. 

Fore-Christians, meaning of, 42; culture of, 59, 60; family 
life of, 58, 107, 108 ; choice before them, 60, 61 ; as theists, 
91, 121. 

Forests, destruction of, 16, 22, 105. 

Foxwell (Prof.), 154 n. 

France, After-Christian origin and development in, 51, 53-55 ; old 
Christian family life in, 176, 177 ; Christian life in nineteenth 
century in, 174, 175; persecution of the Church in, 183, 185. 

Franciscans, austerity of, 225; social reform by, 154; saints 
among, 182. 

Franzelin (Cardinal), 250 n. 

Fraticelli, the, 154. 

Free Service, 143, 151. 

French Revolution, the, 270. 

Galton (Dr. Francis), 58 n. 
Gaume (L'abbe), 165 n. 
Gelasius (Pope), times of, 256. 

312 INDEX 

George Eliot, 193. 

Germany, After-Christians 111,43,56,209; Christian family of, 174, 
177, 231 ; persecution in (Kulturkampf), 132, 185 ; wise social 
laws in, 152, 185 ; national pride in, 126. 

Gibbon, 48 n., 124. 

Gladstone, his Vaticanism, 199, 207. 

Glover (T. R.), 119, 263 «., 278 n. 

Gnostics, 220, 224, 249, 251. 

Goethe, on Greek blitheness, 119. 

Good, underlying evil, 35-37- See Evil, problem of. 

Gracchi, the, 150 n. 

Graham (Prof. W.), on sociology, 3 ; on toleration, 208. 

Greeks, civilisation of, 24, 27, 30, 46, 96, 101, 107 ; pessimism 
among, 119; philosophy of, adopted and adapted by Christi- 
anity, 92. 

Gregory of Nazianzen, 257. 

Gregory of Nyssa, 146. 

Gregory the Great, 258. 

Gregory VII. (Hildebrand), 162, 182, 262. 

Grisar (Hartmann), 104 «., 258. 

Gonther, 248. 

Guilds of fifteenth century, 177. 

Gutberlet (Dr. G.), 29. 

Harnack (Prof.), 241. 

Hegel, i «., 32. 

Heresies and Schisms, persistence of, 218-221; horror against, 
216 ; variety of, 221, 229 ; character of, and causation, 221-228 ; 
providential function, 233, 234 ; good life of members, 229-232. 

Hergenrother (Cardinal), 201. 

Hindu Civilisation, 19, 33, 59, 210 n. 

Historical Logic, need of principle of selection, 1-7, 16 «., 178, 
288 ; danger of a false principle, 172, 173, 178, 205-207, 241, 
287, 288; need of detailed specification, 15-18, 21 (see also 
Statistics); on truth seeming to vary, 225, 235, 239; on dis- 
tinguishing constants from variables, 236, 237, 240; explana- 
tion of phenomena imperative, 269-271, 298 ; science and the 
miraculous in no opposition, 274, 275, 285, 286, 288, 289. See 
also Supernatural. 

INDEX 313 

Historical School, 233. 
Hobhouse (L. T.), 57 n. 
Huoel (Baron von), 350 n. 
Hull (Rev. E. R.), 171 n. 
Hyde (Douglas), 26. 

Ibn Khaldun, 47. 

Imperial Theory of history, 7. 

Incarnation (the) as the centre of human history, 39, 40, 63, 299, 

300, 305, 306. 
Individualism, 93, 94, 115, 122, 134, 136, 156, 157, 186, 187. 
Inequality, problem of, 139 ff. 
Inquisition, first inquisitors, 201 ; of later centuries, 203, 204, 

Intellectualism, 73, 79, 93, 133, 249, 251, 252, 277, 278, 284-286, 

298. See also Agnosticism and Relativism. 
Ireland, Christian family life in, 175, 176; saints in, 182; child 

martyrs in, 268, 269. 

James (Prof. William), 277 n. 

Jansenism, 223, 225, 259, 260, 262, 270. 

Janssen, 177. 

Japan, alternative before, 61 ; family life in, 108 ; morality of, in 

sixteenth century, 112 n. ; missionaries in, 162 ; martyrdoms 

in, 183 ; child martyrs in, 267, 268. 
Jesuits, persecution and suppression of, 260. 
Jews, unique history of, 43,44; race-pride of, 125-127; of the Old 

Testament, 249, 250, 252 n. ; treatment of, by Popes, 204 ; in 

British Parliament, 202. 
Johnson (Dr.), on inequality, 141 ; on liberty, 192. 
Joy of Christianity, ng, 121-123. 
Joylessness of Paganism, 117-121. 
Junius, 134. 
Justice on labour questions, 155-158. 

Kant, 66 »., 95. 

Ker (W. P.), on Arabs of the heroic age, 47 ; on mediaeval and 
modern literature, 78 n. ; on Mahometanism, 87. 

314 INDEX 

Kidd (Benjamin), 2 »., 3 »., 33 ». 
Kuoler (F. X.), 252. 

Labour rehabilitated by Christianity, 103, 104, 148. 

Labour-questions, Christian solution of, 155 ff. 

Lactantius, 146, 158. 

Lagrange (Pere), 93, 240, 250-253. 

Lamennais, 165. 

Lane Poole, 47. 

Latitudinarianism, 226. 

Lax Christians, 161, 162, 165, 166. 

Leighton (Lord), 86 »., 88. 

Leo XIII., on labour questions, 155; on patriotism, 138; on 
government, 137, 155 ; on liberty and law, 194 n. ; on freedom 
of faith, 189 ; on suffering, 122 ; on the Two Cities, 281 n. 

Le Play, his great work, 173, 174 ; his witness to family life of 
Catholics, 174, 175 ; and of dissident Christians, 230, 231. 

Lessius, 40 n. 

Lewis (Cornewall), 5 n. 

Liberty, various meanings of, 191-195, 209, 310 ; J. S. Mill on, 207, 

Livy, 305 ». 

Locke on toleration, 202, 208. 

Logic. See Historical Logic. 

Lollards, 154, 171. 

Lourdes, cures at, 289-296 ; constatations medicates at, 296, 297. 

Love, the essence of the Catholic religion, 71, 121, 122, 191, 250, 
282 ; as seen in the saints, 179, 180 ; mysterious nature of, 
71 ; linked with sorrow, 121 ; need for more than earthly, 38, 

Lucas (Rev. Herbert), 187 ». 
Lucretius, 114. 

Macaulay, 305 n. 
Magic, 204, 284, 285. 

Mahometans, as After-Christians, 44-50 ; better types of, 50, 51, 
60; numbers of, 61 ; jurisprudence of, 48, 49; parasitic culture 

of, 45-47- 
Manicheans, 200, 201, 229. 

IKDEX 315 

Marcus Aurelius, 120, 146. 

Marx (Karl), on evolution, 2 ».; on Socialism, 153 ; his philosophy, 


Materialism, 31-33, 272-274. 

Mathematics, antinomies of, 67, 68. 

Mediaeval, confusion on the meaning of, 77, 78; literature not to 

be contrasted with modern, 78 n. ; historical references, 105, 

150, 162, 182, 259, 292. 
Menger (Karl), on Socialism, 153 n. 
Mexico, family life in, 176; art in, 88; persecution in, 103, 

threatened absorption of, 261. 
Michael (Emil), his history of Germany, 177. 
Mill (J. S.), on liberty, 207, 208 ; on Tuscan metayers, 20. 
Millet, the painter, 85 ». 
Miracles, denial of, by non-theists, 272, 274 ; denial of, by theists, 

275-278 ; theory of, 274, 279, 283-286, 289 ; modern science 

and, 285, 287 ; difference of Catholics from others, 389, 296, 

297 ; specific examples of, 290-296. 
Miraculous, meanings of, 272, 285. 

Money Measure, weakness of, 13, 14. See also Statistics. 
Monier-Williams (Sir M.), 62. 
Monks and Friars, work of, 78, 103-105, 7.81 ; martyrdoms of, 

182, 185, 259. 

MONOPHYSITES, go, 220, 223, 227, 2 57- 

montanists, 225. 
Montesquieu, 193. 
Music, significance of, 83, 84. 
Myers (F. W.), 54 n. 
Mysticism, 71, 91, 108, 122, 123. 

Napoleon, 132. 

Nationalism, two senses of, 127 n. 

Nationality, a recurrent difficulty to the Church, 127, 128; how 

far approved of by the Church, 128, 129; pride of, 124, 126; 

a cause of heresy and schism, 222, 223. 
Natural Law, theological meaning of, 192. 
Nature and Grace. See Supernatural, relation of, to natural. 
Newman (Cardinal), passim, e.g., on logical method, 4-7 ; on 

progress, 29 «. ; on the Jews, 44; on the Golden Mean, 64, 

316 INDEX 

65 ; on antinomies of science, 66-68 ; on antinomies of religiofl, 
34> 35> 65, 72, 73 ; on music, 83, 84 ; on absorption of all good 
by the Church, 89, 90 ; on relation of philosophy to theology, 
92 ; on the austerity of Christianity, no, in ; on Church and 
State, 130, 132, 211, 212; against extremists, 164, 166 n. ; 
explains Christian scandals, 167-171 ; on meaning and supre- 
macy of conscience, 189-191 ; on false liberty, 192, 197, 199, 
207; on the two doctrines of life, 212,214; on disputes not 
heresies, 217 n. ; on the extent of schism and heresy, 219, 220; 
on the pathology of heresy, 221-226, 228 ; his work on 
Development, 240-242 ; on apparent failure of the Church, 
34, 35, 256-260 ; on eventual triumph, 261 ; on persecution 
and calumny, 255, 264-267 ; on the cumulative marvels of 
Church history, 270, 271 ; on the miraculous, 276, 277, 285, 
286, 288, 290 ; on the obscurity of the moral law and of the 
Church, 302-304. 

Nietzsche, 187, 188. 

Nominalism and Realism, 94. 

Novatians, 171, 220. 

Nuns of Minsk, 186; of Compiegne, 183; of Germany, 185. 

Obedience, emphasis laid on, by Church, 112, 130, 144, 147, 155, 
166, 216, 245; made easy by Christian doctrine on power, 

135, 136. 
Obscurity of theism, 34-37, 65, 69-71, 304 ; of the moral law, 208, 

301-303; of the Church, 72, 218, 219, 301, 303, 304. 
Old Catholics, 225. 
Old Testament. See Bible. 
Origen, 78, 279. 

Palladius, 278. 

Pantheism, relation to materialism and theism, 31, 32, 189, 190; 
veiling atheism, 274 ; Church on guard against, 91, 93 ; super- 
stitions allied to, 107 ; among Mahometan philosophers, 48. 

Papal Primacy, 245. 

Parsees, 171 n. 

Pater (Walter), 120. 

Patriotism, Church on, 137, 138 ; decay of, among Ancient Greeks, 
30 ; among After-Christians, 54, 137. 

INDEX 317 

Pearson (C. H.), 3 n. 

P6rin, 106 n. 

Persians, civilisation of, 46, 59. 

Pessimism, 54, 83, 119-121. 

Petavius, 238. 

Philip the Fair, 264. 

Philosophy and the Church, 38-41, 89-95, 224, 225, 248, 249, 298. 

Pius IX. on invincible ignorance, 218. 

Pizzi (Prof.), 46 ». 

Plato, 92, 222. 

Political Economy, classical unhistorical, 106 »., 135, 156, 205 «., 
236 ; historical preface, i3#., 24, 29, 235. 

Politics, science of, 137. 

Polybius, 150 n. 

Porphyry, the Neoplatonist, 95, 278. 

Possession (diabolical), 280, 283, 284. 

Primitive Man, 27-29. 

Priscillian, 279. 

Progress, defined, 11-13; paradox on, explained, 21-24; and popu- 
lation, 22 ; summary on, 24, 29, 30. See also Retrogression. 

Protestants, numbers of, 61, 62, 260, 261 ; early violence of, 150, 
259 ; calumnies by, against the Church, 63 «., 259, 264, 265, 
276, 277 j many disqualified for Locke's toleration, 209 n. ; 
good family life among, 230-232 ; on miracles, 275-277 ; on 
witches, 277, 284; unhistorical, 255, 270. 

Prudentius, 181. 

Psychical Research, 277 n. 

Psychotherapeutics, 297. 

Puritanism, 82, 223. See also Jansenism. 

Quietism, 73. 

Race-hatred, 124-128, 222, 223. 

Ramiere (Pere), 255, 281. 

Relativism, abuse of, 94, 236, 240. 

Retrogression, examples of, 26, 27. 

Rhys Davids, 62. 

Ribbe (de), 176. 

Rickaby (Joseph), on pagan sorrow, 120 ».; on development, 324, 

225, 244. 345- 

3i8 INDEX 

Rites, Roman Congregation of, 293. 

Roman Civilisation, earlier, 58, 103, 107; later, 10, 11, 12, 25, 

114, 116; based on slavery, 25, 118, 143 ff. ; downfall of, 116, 

117; joylessness of, 119, 120. 
Ross (Prof.), 58 n. 

Rousseau, After-Christian herald, 51 ; on liberty, 193. 
Rowntree (B. S.), 16 11. 
Ruskin, on popular culture, 26 n. ; on our partial knowledge, 70 n. ; 

on liberty, 192 ; on political economy, 205 n. 
Russell (Bertrand), 66 n. 
Ryder (Dr. Ignatius), 290, 297. 

Sabellius, 224. 

Saints, vast significance of, 178-181, 187, 188; the Church, the 
mother of, 178, 180, 186, 187; examples of, 181-186, 262, 

Savages, evidence on, 27, 29; presupposition on, 28. 

Scandals, facts and their significance, 161 ff. 

Schaffle, 3 n. 

Schelling, 66. 

Schism, the Great, 259, 262. 

Schisms. See Heresies and Schisms. 

Schools, modern American, 52, 55 ; mediaeval, 150. 

Selection, principle of. See Historical Logic. 

Seligman (Prof.), 2 n. 

Semi-Arians, 227. 

Semi-Socialism of Mahometans, 45, 49, 50. 

Serfdom, 142, 143, 147. 

Servants, meaning and numbers of, 140, 142. 

Service, free, 143, 151. 

Shepherd of Hermas, Christians of the time of, 161. 

Sidgwick (Henry), on sociology, 3; on measurement of wealth, 
14 n. 

Simeon Stylites (St.), 179 n. 

Slavery, essence of, 142 ; in antiquity, 145, 146, 148 ; attitude of 
Christianity to, 118, 146 ff. ; Aristotle on, 118, 141 ; transfor- 
mation of, by Christianity, 147. 

Socialism, causes of the growth of, 150-153; explanation of the 
term, 153, 154; attitude of the Church to, 155-160. 

INDEX 319 

Socialistic Heresies, 145, 154, 203. 

Social Struggles, Church peacemaker in, 159, 160. 

Sociological Papers, 3 n. 

Sociology, 1-5, 15 n. 

Spain, fifteenth and seventeenth centuries in, compared, 12, 13 ; 

Inquisition of, 204 ; persecution in, 185, 260. 
Spanish America, art in, 88, 8g ; ignorance concerning, 89 n. ; 

family life in, 176; seeming decay of, 260,261. 
Spencer (Herbert), 3 »., 5 n. 
Spiritualism, 277, 297. 
State, the relation to the Church, 129 ff. ; jealousy of the Church 

by, 124, 130-132 ; short sighted, 132, 134-138 ; love of religious 

compromise by, 227. 
Statistics, higher and lower distinguished, n, 15, 18, 24, 102, 

117; comparative, a schedule for, 16-18, 21 ; difficulties of 

comparing, 12-15, 18; of religions, 61, 62. 
Steinhuber (Cardinal), 184 n. 
Sterile Families, oi After-Christian Mahometans, 51 ; of the 

French, 54 ; of other After-Christians, 55 ; of savages, 27, 58. 
Strauss, 234, 270. 
Supernatural, relation of, to natural, 63, 168, 240, 271, 279-282, 

Superstitions, within the Church, 163, 247, 286; without the 

Church, 106-108, 133, 204, 280, 284, 285, 297. 

Tacitus, 114. 

Talamo (Prof.), 145 n. 

Taylor (Isaac), 276. 

Tertullian, 94, 224. 

Theism, confronts pantheism and materialism, 31, 32 ; an indis- 
pensable postulate, 33; difficulties of, 34^., 113; obscurity 
of, 34, 69, 70, 302 ; proclaims a divine law, 190; Christianity 
the support of, 38-41, 300. 

Theosophy, 171 n. 

Thomas a Kempis (St.), 79, 182, 262. 

Thomas Aquinas (St.), 70 »., 90, 262. 

Thurston (Rev. Herbert), on Japanese morality, 112 n. ; on 
Japanese martyrs, 183 n., 267, 268 ; on changes in Church 
discipline and devotion, 246; on miracles, 287, 289, 292, 297. 

320 INDEX 

TlXERONT (J.), 238, 243, 244, 249. 
ToRQUEMADA, I96, 204, 206. 

Traditionalism, 93, 94, 165 and «. 

Trendelenburg, 237 n. 

Truce op God, 104. 

Tuscany in 1840, 19, 20. 

Tyrrell (Rev. George), on civilisation and happiness, 14 »., 24; 
on progress, 29; on pantheism, 33 n. ; on the anima naturaliter 
Christiana, 38 ff., 90 ; on After-Christians, 54, 123 ; on anti- 
nomies, 67 ; on analogy, 69, 70 ; on love and religion, 71, 122, 
180; against extremists, 73, 94, 165; his Lex Orandi, 187 »., 
197 ».; on the Zeitgeist, 97 n. ; on asceticism, 121, 123; on 
individualism, 122, 134, 187, 188 ; on obedience, 136 ; on the 
contemplative life, 179 n. ; on Puritanical theories, 224. 

Uebermensch, the, 188. 

Unhistorical Spirit, 157, 235, 236, 239. 

Uniates, persecution of, 185, 186. 

Unitarianism, 229 ; of Mahometans, 47. 

Unity of the Church, zeal of early Christians for, 215, 217. 

Urban Congestion, 23, 24. 

Usury, war of the Church against, 155, 156 ; German law against, 

Via Media, 226-228. Cf. Catholic Church, golden mean of. 

Vincent of L£rins, 238, 244. 

Violent Catholics, 164, 165, 217, 218. 

Vion-Dury, cure of, 295. 

Voltaire, 51, 114, 183, 214. 

Ward (Dr. W. G.), on prayer and miracles, 273. 

Ward (Wilfrid), on the Church unchanging yet adaptable and 
historical, 74, go, 97, 248 ; on violent Catholics, 165 n. 1 ; on 
weak-kneed Catholics, 105 n. 2 ; his life of Aubrey de Vere, 
176; on the multitude not held to be a corpus vile by the 
Church, 198 ; on Dr. Arnold, 202 ; his Problems and Persons, 
248 n. ; on Dr. Ward and materialism, 273 «. ; on scientific 
method and the supernatural, 288. 

Willmann (Otto), on the significance of Christianity, 40, 41 ; on 
Christian philosophy, 90-92, 94-95 ; on the historical principle, 

INDEX 321 

Witchcraft. See Magic. 

Women, position of, in Islam, 45, 50 ; position in Christianity, 
108, 174-177, 230-332 ; under unregulated "free" labour, 151, 
152; protection of, 152, 195. See also Family Life. 

Workmen, combinations of, 151-152, 157; legislation for, 19, 20, 
149, 156, 158, 194, 195. 

Zeitgeist (time-spirit), the, 95-97, 203 ff. 
Zola, 205. 



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